The prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes continues to increase. These conditions disproportionately affect minorities and are associated with poor nutrition early in life. Current food-consumption patterns can inform pending dietary guidelines for infants and toddlers.
The aim of this study was to describe infant feeding, complementary feeding, and food and beverage consumption patterns of 0- to 23.9-mo-olds in the general population.
The Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study 2016 is a cross-sectional survey of caregivers of children aged <4 y. Dietary data were collected from a national random sample by using a 24-h dietary recall (n = 3235). The percentage of children consuming foods from >400 food groups was calculated. Differences in the percentage consuming between Hispanic, non-Hispanic white, and non-Hispanic black children aged 0-23.9 mo were evaluated with the use of ORs and 95% CIs.
Eighty-three percent of 0- to 23.9-mo-olds (n = 2635) were ever breastfed, 34% of 0- to 3.9-mo-olds (n = 305) and 15% of 4- to 5.9-mo-olds (n = 295) were exclusively breastfed, and 24% of 12- to 14.9-mo-olds (n = 412) consumed breast milk on the day of the recall. Complementary foods were more likely to be introduced before 4 mo in formula-fed infants (27%) than in infants who did not consume formula (5%). Half of 4- to 5.9-mo-olds consumed iron-fortified infant cereal, but few consumed iron-rich meats. Among toddlers (12-23.9 mo; n = 1133), >20% consumed no servings of fruit or vegetables on the day of the recall, approximately half consumed 100% fruit juice, and one-quarter to one-third consumed a sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB).
Breastfeeding initiation and duration have improved, but exclusivity remains low. Low consumption of iron-rich foods, fruit, and vegetables and lack of variety in vegetable consumption are problems. Efforts to reduce the consumption of SSBs and 100% fruit juice are warranted in early childhood.