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Authors

  1. Reidy, Kathleen C. DrPH
  2. Bailey, Regan Lucas PhD
  3. Deming, Denise M. PhD
  4. O'Neill, Lynda PhD
  5. Carr, B. Thomas MS
  6. Lesniauskas, Ruta MS
  7. Johnson, Wendy PhD

Abstract

Nutrition is critically important in the first 1000 days, and while most American babies are fed commercial baby foods, there is little or no evidence from nationally representative data to understand the implications of such consumption. We used 24-hour dietary recall data for 505 infants from The Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study to describe food consumption patterns and micronutrient density of complementary foods consumed by infants fed commercially prepared baby food fruit, vegetables, and dinners and compared with those eaten by nonconsumers of these products. Results show that consumers were significantly more likely to report eating all vegetables (excluding white potatoes, 71% vs 51%), deep yellow vegetables (42% vs 18%), and fruits (79% vs 65%) and were less likely to report eating white potatoes (10% vs 24%), dark green vegetables (4% vs 20%), and sweets (23% vs 47%) than were nonconsumers. Nutrient density of the complementary foods of consumers was greater for fiber, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and magnesium, but lower in sodium and vitamin D. We conclude that infants fed commercially prepared baby foods were more likely to eat vegetables and fruits, and their diets were higher in several micronutrients. These findings provide important insights on complementary feeding and are useful to support the development of evidence-based infant-feeding guidelines.