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Nutrients 2014, 6(1), 304-318; doi:10.3390/nu6010304

Dietary Intake by Dutch 1- to 3-Year-Old Children at Childcare and at Home

Department of Health Promotion, NUTRIM School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Centre, PO Box 616, Maastricht 6200 MD, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 October 2013 / Revised: 10 December 2013 / Accepted: 24 December 2013 / Published: 8 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paediatric Nutrition)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [217 KB, uploaded 8 January 2014]


The goal of the current study was to assess dietary intake in a large sample (N = 1016) of Dutch toddlers (1–3 years old), both at childcare and at home. Dietary intake during two weekdays was recorded using an observation format applied by childcare staff for intake at childcare, and partially pre-coded dietary journals filled out by parents for intake at home. Children’s intake of energy, macronutrients and energy balance-related food groups (fruit, vegetables, sweet snacks, savoury snacks) were compared with Dutch dietary guidelines. In addition, differences between the dietary intake by various subgroups (based on gender, age, childcare attendance, socio-economic status of childcare centre) were explored using multilevel regression analyses, adjusting for nesting of children within centres. Energy intake was high relative to dietary guidelines, and children consumed more or less equal amounts of energy at home and at childcare. Dietary fibre, fruit and vegetable and snack intakes were low. Intake at childcare mainly consisted of carbohydrates, while intake at home contained more proteins and fat. The findings imply various opportunities for childcare centres to improve children’s dietary intake, such as providing fruit and vegetables at snacking moments. In addition, the findings underline the importance of assessing dietary intake over a whole day, both at childcare and at home, to allow intake to be compared with dietary guidelines. View Full-Text
Keywords: childcare; day-care; dietary intake; dietary journal; nutrition; observation; overweight; parent; toddler childcare; day-care; dietary intake; dietary journal; nutrition; observation; overweight; parent; toddler
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gubbels, J.S.; Raaijmakers, L.G.M.; Gerards, S.M.P.L.; Kremers, S.P.J. Dietary Intake by Dutch 1- to 3-Year-Old Children at Childcare and at Home. Nutrients 2014, 6, 304-318.

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