Trends in Food Consumption Patterns of US Infants and Toddlers from Feeding Infants and Toddlers Studies (FITS) in 2002, 2008, 2016.


The Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) is the largest survey of dietary intake among infants and young children in the United States. Dietary patterns in early childhood are a key component of prevention of diet-related chronic diseases, yet little is known about how food consumption patterns of infants and young children have changed over time. The objective of this study is to examine trends in food and beverage consumption among children ages 6-23.9 months using data from the FITS conducted in 2002, 2008, and 2016. A total of 5963 infants and young children ages 6-23.9 months were included in these analyses. Food consumption data were collected using a multiple-pass 24-h recall by telephone using the Nutrition Data System for Research. Linear trends were assessed using the Wald's test in a multivariable linear regression model. Positive significant findings include increases in breast milk consumption and decreases in the consumption of sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages, and 100% fruit juice. More troubling findings include decreasing infant cereal consumption, stagnant or decreasing whole grain consumption, and stagnant consumption of vegetables. Our findings suggest some promising improvements in dietary intake among infants and toddlers in the United States over the past 15 years, but further policy, programmatic, and industry efforts are still needed.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Duffy, Emily W, Melissa C Kay, Emma Jacquier, Diane Catellier, Joel Hampton, Andrea S Anater and Mary Story (2019). Trends in Food Consumption Patterns of US Infants and Toddlers from Feeding Infants and Toddlers Studies (FITS) in 2002, 2008, 2016. Nutrients, 11(11). p. E2807. 10.3390/nu11112807 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



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

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.