Beverage Consumption Patterns among Infants and Young Children (0⁻47.9 Months): Data from the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study, 2016.Nutrients. 2018 Jun 26; 10(7)N
(1) Background: Data about early life beverage intake patterns is sparse. We describe beverage patterns among infants and young children from the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) 2016. (2) Methods: FITS 2016 is a cross-sectional survey of U.S. parents/caregivers of children 0⁻47.9 months (n = 3235). Food and beverage intakes were collected by 24-h dietary recalls to describe beverage consumption patterns including: a) prevalence of consumption, per capita and per consumer intake, b) contribution to intake of calories and key nutrients, and c) prevalence according to eating occasions. (3) Results: Breast milk and infant formula were commonly consumed among <12-month-olds. Among 12⁻23.9-month-olds, the most commonly consumed beverage was whole milk (67% consuming), followed by 100% juice (50% consuming). Plain drinking water was consumed by 70% of 12⁻23.9-month-olds and 78% of 24⁻47.9-month-olds. Among 12⁻47.9-month-olds, milks provided more energy and key nutrients than all other beverages. Across eating occasions, sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption, especially in the form of fruit-flavored drinks, was higher among 24⁻47.9 compared to 12⁻23.9-month-olds. Only 23⁻32% of ≥12-month-olds consumed milk or water at lunch or dinner. (4) Conclusions: Opportunities exist to improve beverage patterns. Future interventions may benefit from focusing on timely introduction of age-appropriate beverages and reducing consumption of SSBs.