Complementary feeding: Inappropriate practices in infants

Faculdade de Medicina da Fundação do ABC (FMABC), Santo André, SP, Brazil.
Jornal de pediatria (Impact Factor: 1.19). 05/2010; 86(3):196-201. DOI: 10.2223/JPED.1994
Source: PubMed


To assess feeding practices and dietary intake of healthy infants in three Brazilian municipalities.
By means of a prospective study, we analyzed the food record of 7 consecutive days of an intentional sample (quota and weighted sampling) of 179 healthy infants, aged between 4 and 12 months, from the municipalities of Curitiba, São Paulo, and Recife, Brazil, who were not being exclusively breastfed. Mothers received oral and written information provided by a nutritionist with the purpose of standardizing the feeding data. The computer program NutWin was used to calculate the dietary intake.
The median of the infants' age was 6.8 months (4.0-12.6 months). We found that 50.3% of the infants were no longer being exclusively breastfed. Of these, 12.0 and 6.7% among the infants younger and older than 6 months, respectively, were fed with infant formulae instead of breast milk. Therefore, most infants received whole cow's milk. Infant formula dilution was correct in only 23.8 and 34.7% of the infants younger and older than 6 months old, respectively. With regards to complementary feeding, we found that the median age was 4 months for its introduction and 5.5 months for the introduction of family diet. There was high quantitative inappropriateness of micronutrient intake for infants between 6 and 12 months old who were not exclusively breastfed, mainly in terms of zinc (75%) and iron (45%).
The present study showed a high frequency of inappropriate feeding practices and dietary intake in very young infants. These practices may lead to an increased risk of development of chronic diseases in the future.

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