1Nestlé Research, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2RTI International, Research Triangle Park, United States, 3Food Research Center, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 4Nestlé Brazil, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Background and aims. Early childhood is the period when food preferences and dietary habits are established. This study assessed Brazilian infants’ consumption by food group and top sources of total energy intake (TEI).
Methods. The FITS is a cross-sectional survey of caregivers of Brazilian infants aged <1 year (n=218). 24-h dietary recalls were collected to investigate dietary patterns including. percentage of children consuming foods and food groups on a given day (%), amount consumed (g) and percent contribution to TEI.
Results. The most highly consumed food group in the infant diet was milk/milk products, consumed by 100% and 95% of infants (0-5.9 months and 6-11.9 months, respectively), followed by grain/grain products. While around 40% of the infants (6-11.9 months) did not consume fruits and vegetable on the day of the survey, almost half consumed sweets. Milk/milk products contributed 94.7% TEI at 0-5.9 months, and 58.9% TEI at 6-11.9 months. Breast milk and infant formula together contributed 89.0% TEI for young infants (0-5.9 months). Other foods (cow’s milk, infant cereals/other grains and toddler milks) consumed by 0-5.9 months infants contributed 10.4% TEI. Among infants aged 6-11.9 months, the top food source of energy was human milk (27.3%), followed by cow’s milk and infant formula (15.7% and 12.6%, respectively). At this transitional age, infant cereal/other grains contributed a sizable proportion of daily energy (14.2%).
Conclusions. Introduction of foods are occurring before 6 months of age impacting the consumption of adequate calories from breast milk or formula alone. These findings indicate an opportunity to guide caregivers on food choices to improve infants’ diet quality for a healthy development of food habits.
Keywords: infants’ diet, food-groups, food sources of energy, Brazil.