Predictors of calcium intake at dinner meals of ethnically diverse mother-child dyads from families with limited incomes.J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Oct; 109(10):1744-50.JA
Diets adequate in calcium and other key nutrients early in life are critical for optimal growth. This study's objective was to determine associations between beverage and dairy food intakes of mothers and their young children and food/beverage contributions to calcium at dinner meals from ethnically diverse families with limited incomes. This was a secondary analysis of dietary data on mother-child dyads from a cross-sectional study. The sample was 465 children (4.4+/-0.6 years) and their mothers, 41% African American, 34% Hispanic, and 21% white. Dietary and anthropometric data were collected in 52 Head Start centers in Alabama and Texas during 1 year starting fall 2004. Associations between mother-child intakes were examined by race/ethnicity using correlations. Calcium intake from dinners was predicted (stepwise regression) from four beverage categories-milk, sweetened beverages, 100% fruit juices, and non-energy-containing beverages plus water-and from cheese and dairy desserts. Overall, the mother's dinnertime intake of milk did not predict that of her child. Mother-child intakes of cheese, dairy desserts, and sweetened beverages correlated more strongly than did milk. All the beverages and dairy groups demonstrated moderate correlations for dyads with those for cheese (r=0.56), dairy desserts (r=0.39), fruit juice (r=0.36), and sweetened beverages (r=0.31) higher than that for milk overall (r=0.29, P<0.01). Milk and cheese predicted the most variance in calcium intake for both mothers and children overall (R(2)=0.82), and for all race-ethnic groups, except African-American children, where the contribution from cheese predominated. Food and nutrition professionals should encourage replacing sweet beverages at dinner with low-fat milk or calcium-fortified beverages to improve the nutrient density of meals.