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Nutrients 2017, 9(7), 733; doi:10.3390/nu9070733

Importance of Dietary Sources of Iron in Infants and Toddlers: Lessons from the FITS Study

1
Nestlé Nutrition Global R&D, Florham Park, NJ 07932, USA
2
Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA 30912, USA
3
Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 30 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 11 July 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [233 KB, uploaded 11 July 2017]

Abstract

Iron deficiency (ID) affects 13.5% of 1–2 years old children in the US and may have a negative impact on neurodevelopment and behavior. Iron-fortified infant cereal is the primary non-heme iron source among infants aged 6–11.9 months. The objective of this study was to compare iron intakes of infant cereal users with non-users. Data from the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study 2008 were used for this analysis. Based on a 24-h recall, children between the ages of 4–17.9 months were classified as ‘cereal users’ if they consumed any amount or type of infant cereal and ‘non-users’ if they did not. Infant cereal was the top source of dietary iron among infants aged 6–11.9 months. The majority of infants (74.6%) aged 6–8.9 months consumed infant cereal, but this declined to 51.5% between 9–11.9 months and 14.8% among 12–17.9 months old toddlers. Infant cereal users consumed significantly more iron than non-users across all age groups. Infants and toddlers who consume infant cereal have higher iron intakes compared to non-users. Given the high prevalence of ID, the appropriate use of infant cereals in a balanced diet should be encouraged to reduce the incidence of ID and ID anemia. View Full-Text
Keywords: nutrition; iron; cereal; infant; anemia; dietary intake; feeding practices; weaning nutrition; iron; cereal; infant; anemia; dietary intake; feeding practices; weaning
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Finn, K.; Callen, C.; Bhatia, J.; Reidy, K.; Bechard, L.J.; Carvalho, R. Importance of Dietary Sources of Iron in Infants and Toddlers: Lessons from the FITS Study. Nutrients 2017, 9, 733.

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