Energy and macronutrient intakes and adherence to dietary guidelines of infants and toddlers in Belgium.Eur J Nutr. 2016 Jun; 55(4):1595-604.EJ
Early feeding habits may have a significant impact on later body composition and health. The knowledge on dietary habits is, however, still limited for older infants and toddlers. Therefore, we aimed to: (1) assess the average daily energy and macronutrient intakes and to identify their major foods sources; (2) compare it to the nationally and internationally recommended dietary intake (RDI).
A food survey (January-February 2012) was conducted in a cohort of healthy infants and toddlers, stratified for age, gender, region, occupation and socio-economic status of the mother and week and weekend days. The national dietary software programme Nubel(®) was used to analyse nutritional values.
We included 92 (19.8 %) 6-to 12-month-olds, 200 (43.0 %) 13- to 24-month-olds and 173 (37.2 %) 25- to 36-month-olds in the analysis. Median energy intake was 15-20 % above the RDI of 79-82 kcal/kg/day. Nearly, all children had a protein intake above the RDI, and for 156 (33.5 %), this was above the upper tolerable limit of 15 % of total energy intake. The median fat intake increased with increasing age and was slightly below the RDI. Mean water and carbohydrate intake were in accordance with the RDI. Fibre intake was below the RDI of 15 g/d for 93.1 % of the oldest and 83.5 % of the middle age group (p < 0.01). Milk is the most important source for energy en macronutrients until the age of 2 years.
Energy and especially protein intakes are too high, while fat and fibre intakes are too low in Belgian infants and toddlers.