The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) states that young child formulae (YCFs) “cannot be considered as a necessity to satisfy the nutritional requirements” of children aged 12–36 months. This study quantifies the dietary changes needed to ensure nutritional adequacy in U.K. young children who consume YCFs and/or supplements and in those who do not. Dietary data from 1147 young children (aged 12–18 months) were used to identify, using linear programming models, the minimum changes needed to ensure nutritional adequacy: (i) by changing the quantities of foods initially consumed by each child (repertoire-foods); and (ii) by introducing new foods (non-repertoire-foods). Most of the children consumed neither YCFs, nor supplements (61.6%). Nutritional adequacy with repertoire-foods alone was ensured for only one child in this group, against 74.4% of the children consuming YCFs and supplement. When access to all foods was allowed, smaller food changes were required when YCFs and supplements were initially consumed than when they were not. In the total sample, the main dietary shifts needed to ensure nutritional adequacy were an increase in YCF and a decrease in cow’s milk (+226 g/day and −181 g/day, respectively). Increasing YCF and supplement consumption was the shortest way to cover the EFSA nutrient requirements of U.K. children.
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