Beverage Consumption Patterns among Infants and Young Children (0⁻47.9 Months): Data from the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study, 2016.

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(1) Background: Data about early life beverage intake patterns is sparse. We describe beverage patterns among infants and young children from the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) 2016. (2) Methods: FITS 2016 is a cross-sectional survey of U.S. parents/caregivers of children 0⁻47.9 months (n = 3235). Food and beverage intakes were collected by 24-h dietary recalls to describe beverage consumption patterns including: a) prevalence of consumption, per capita and per consumer intake, b) contribution to intake of calories and key nutrients, and c) prevalence according to eating occasions. (3) Results: Breast milk and infant formula were commonly consumed among <12-month-olds. Among 12⁻23.9-month-olds, the most commonly consumed beverage was whole milk (67% consuming), followed by 100% juice (50% consuming). Plain drinking water was consumed by 70% of 12⁻23.9-month-olds and 78% of 24⁻47.9-month-olds. Among 12⁻47.9-month-olds, milks provided more energy and key nutrients than all other beverages. Across eating occasions, sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption, especially in the form of fruit-flavored drinks, was higher among 24⁻47.9 compared to 12⁻23.9-month-olds. Only 23⁻32% of ≥12-month-olds consumed milk or water at lunch or dinner. (4) Conclusions: Opportunities exist to improve beverage patterns. Future interventions may benefit from focusing on timely introduction of age-appropriate beverages and reducing consumption of SSBs.





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Kay, Melissa C, Emily B Welker, Emma F Jacquier and Mary T Story (2018). Beverage Consumption Patterns among Infants and Young Children (0⁻47.9 Months): Data from the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study, 2016. Nutrients, 10(7). p. E825. 10.3390/nu10070825 Retrieved from

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Melissa Kay

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Melissa Kay is a public health nutritionist conducting research in support of early life obesity prevention. Her educational background includes public health, food policy and applied nutrition, epidemiology, and nutrition interventions. She is currently faculty in the Department of Pediatrics and is using digital technologies to augment clinical care between primary care visits as well as visits with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Using interactive text messaging, Dr. Kay supports caregivers in adopting healthy feeding behaviors for themselves and their families.  


Mary T Story

Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health

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