Dietary patterns of infants and toddlers are associated with nutrient intakes

Lisa G. Smithers, Rebecca K. Golley, Laima Brazionis, Pauline Emmett, Kate Northstone, John W. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Dietary patterns are a useful summary measure of diet. Few studies have examined the nutrient profiles underpinning the dietary patterns of young children. The study aim is to determine whether dietary patterns at 6 and 15 months of age are associated with nutrient intakes at 8 and 18 months, respectively. Participants were children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children who had complete dietary pattern and nutrient intake data (n = 725 at 6-8 months, n = 535 at 15-18 months). The association between tertiles of dietary pattern scores and nutrient intake was examined using a non-parametric test for trend. Scores on the home-made traditional pattern (6-8 months) were positively associated with median energy intake. Each dietary pattern had different associations with energy-adjusted intakes of macro- and micro-nutrients. At both times, the discretionary pattern was positively and the ready-prepared baby foods pattern was negatively associated with sodium intake. At 6-8 months, calcium and iron intakes decreased across scores on the home-made traditional and breastfeeding patterns, but increased across the ready-prepared baby food patterns. These findings highlight that dietary patterns in infants and toddlers vary in their underlying energy and nutrient composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-948
Number of pages14
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Dietary patterns
  • Infants
  • Nutrient intake
  • Toddlers


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