Iron, calcium, and zinc are important nutrients for the young, developing child. This study describes the usual intake of iron, calcium, and zinc among US children in the second year of life using two days of dietary intake data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2012. Estimates were calculated using PC-SIDE to account for within and between person variation. Mean usual iron, calcium, and zinc intakes were 9.5 mg/day, 1046 mg/day, and 7.1 mg/day, respectively. Over a quarter of children had usual iron intakes less than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) (26.1%). Eleven percent of children had usual calcium intakes below the RDA and over half of children had usual intakes of zinc that exceeded the tolerable upper intake level (UL). Two percent or less had usual intakes below the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for iron, calcium, and zinc. Our findings suggest that during 2003–2012, one in four children and one in ten children had usual intakes below the RDA for iron and calcium, respectively. Children who are not meeting their nutrient requirements could be at increased risk for developing deficiencies such as iron deficiency or could lead to a shortage in adequate nutrients required for growth and development. One in every two children is exceeding the UL for zinc, but the interpretation of these estimates should be done with caution given the limited data on adverse health outcomes. Continued monitoring of zinc intake and further assessment for the potential of adverse health outcomes associated with high zinc intakes may be needed.
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