Age-related trends in the diet of an infant’s cohort in the northeast of Italy from six to twelve months of age

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Complementary feeding is recognized as an important predictor of health later in life and is likely to affect the development of food preferences. This paper describes age-related trends in terms of energy, nutrients intake and dietary habits of an Italian infant sub cohort (n = 152), enrolled in Trieste. Infant dietary data, collected using a food diary at 6, 9 and 12 months of age, were used to estimate energy and nutrients intake using the Italian food composition database. Age-related trends were calculated using Page’s trend test. An increasing age-trend was observed in the percentages of contribution of macronutrients to total energy intake, with the exception of total lipids, which instead decreased over time. Most of the infants shared a low varied diet especially with regards to protein intake sources, represented mainly by dairy and meat products rather than pulses and fish. This could also account for the low intake of essential fatty acids (ω3) that play an important role in infant neurodevelopment. Moreover, non-commercial baby foods contributed more in terms of quantity, energy and macronutrients intake, compared with commercial products. Healthy eating habits should be encouraged during the first year of life, promoting a varied and well balanced diet at family level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number230
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Age-related trends
  • Commercial baby foods and non-commercial products
  • Energy and nutrients intake
  • Prospective infant cohort study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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