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Study Shows That Diets of Infants are Improving; Concerns Remain for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Date:10/18/2009

toddlers and eighty-four percent of preschoolers consume more sodium than recommended on a given day.

A dietary snapshot by developmental stage

The Nestle FITS 2008 findings provide insight into the diets of children at key developmental stages--infants, toddlers and preschoolers. The good news is that caregivers are hearing and following the feeding guidance for infants, yet FITS 2008 shows that more progress is needed in the diets of toddlers and preschoolers. Compared to FITS 2002, the number of months children breastfeed is longer, which builds the child's immunity, aids a growing baby's brain and eye development, and may help to lower the child's risk of developing allergies and infections. What's more, the introduction of juice is being delayed for infants, and fewer are consuming French fries, sweetened beverages and sweets on a given day. While FITS 2008 shows positive trends in the diets of infants, the data reveal that some older infants have low intakes of iron and consumption of iron-fortified infant cereal is being stopped earlier.

As infants grow into toddlers, it is clear from the FITS 2008 findings that more nutrition guidance for parents is needed for this important developmental stage. Overall, on a given day, toddlers are meeting most of their nutrient requirements for healthy growth and development, however, FITS data show gaps in the intake of vegetables, fruit, fiber, vitamin E, potassium and total fat. The data reflect promising downward trends among toddlers in the consumption of French fries, sweets and sweetened beverages, but more improvement is needed.

FITS 2008 provides a first-of-its-kind nutrition snapshot of preschoolers (children ages 24-to-48 months). The findings show that on a given day, many preschoolers have unhealthy eating patterns reflective of the diets of older children and adults in the United States. In particular, preschoolers are not consuming enough fruits a
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SOURCE Nestle
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