Suboptimal zinc status is common in very young children and likely associated with increased risk of infection and detrimental effects on growth. No studies have determined potentially modifiable “predictors” of zinc status in toddlers from high-income countries. This cross-sectional analysis of 115 toddlers from the Baby-Led Introduction to SolidS (BLISS) study used weighed diet records (three non-consecutive days) to assess dietary intake, and a venous blood sample (trace-element free techniques) to assess plasma zinc, at 12 months of age. “Predictors” of plasma zinc were determined by univariate analysis and multiple regression. Mean (SD) plasma zinc was 9.7 (1.5) μmol/L, 60% were below the IZiNCG reference limit of <9.9 μmol/L. Median (25th, 75th percentiles) intake of zinc was 4.4 (3.7, 5.4) mg/day. Red meat intake (p
= 0.004), consumption of zinc-fortified infant formula (3–6 mg zinc/100 g) (p
= 0.026), and food fussiness (p
= 0.028) were statistically significant “predictors” of plasma zinc at 12 months. Although higher intakes of red meat, and consumption of infant formula, are potentially achievable, it is important to consider possible barriers, particularly impact on breastfeeding, cost, and the challenges of behavior modification. Of interest is the association with food fussiness—further research should investigate the direction of this association.
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