Topical Area: Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition
Objectives : The aim of this study was to optimize the quantity of daily intake of food groups to meet energy, nutrient needs, and to assess differences in diets using fortified versus unfortified foods to provide nutrient adequacy in the second year of life.
Methods : Mathematical modeling was applied to the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study 2016 (observed diet) data set to develop optimized theoretical toddler (12 – 24 months old) diets. The model was constrained to meet median energy requirements and appropriate nutrient reference values and minimize the deviation from the average observed diet. Only the complementary food component of the diet was modelled. Using the Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR, version 2015: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN), the current US fortification of grains and dairy were accounted for and the analysis was repeated without fortification.
Results : The mathematically modeled diets revealed a lower quantity of food (613 to 732 g/day less) and energy (449.3 kcal/per day) were needed to meet nutrient recommendations, compared to the observed diet. The modelled diets contained less meat and fish and less starches and grains, compared to the observed diet. However, the modelled diets contained greater quantities of vegetables and fruit than the observed diet. Additional fruit and vegetables were required when the modelled diet was unfortified rather than when it was fortified. However, the fortified diet allowed for greater variety, and inclusion of other dairy (yogurt and cheese), and starches and grains compared with the unfortified diet. In terms of nutrient adequacy, the modelled fortified diet met all recommendations, whereas the unfortified diet met all but vitamin D.
Our results indicate that with the exception of Vitamin D, nutrient needs of young toddler age children can be satisfied with lower and more appropriate energy intake than currently observed. These findings can assist with dietary recommendations based on a food group approach, for meal planning, or for the development of food based dietary guidelines.
Funding Sources : Nestlé Nutrition, Vevey, Switzerland