Infant feeding practices and nutrient intake: a survey of ten- to fourteen-month-old infants in Richmond, Virginia

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


A study of infant feeding practices and nutrient intake was conducted among 31 infants 10 to 14 months of age in Richmond, Virginia. Data was collected by reviewing the infants' medical records and from an interview schedule, a self-administered questionnaire, and two 24-hour dietary records.

The intake of calories and eight nutrients--protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and ascorbic acid--was calculated. Intake means were sufficient to meet both the Recommended Dietary Allowances and the First Health and Nutrition Examination Survey standards for all nutrients except iron. The majority of the infants had a mean iron intake below the standard. Calories and most nutrients revealed a wide range of intake with some infants consuming a less than adequate intake.

Another contribution of this research was documenting current infant feeding practices. The mean daily total number of feedings was 6.8. The mean daily total number of bottles was 4.4, of which 1.5 were given in the crib. Only six percent of the infants were weaned from the bottle. Approximately one-half of the infants were using cow's milk, and the other one-half were using a commercial infant formula. A variety of commercial infant foods were used by three-fourths of the infants, with infant cereal, vegetables, and fruits being used most frequently. Thirty-nine percent of the infants were receiving vitamin and mineral supplements, but the contribution of the supplements to the group's mean nutrient intake was minimal.

Chi-square analysis revealed no significant relationships between feeding frequency and selected nutrient adequacy and between bottle usage and related adequacy.