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Jornal de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0021-7557
CAETANO, Michelle Cavalcante et al. Complementary feeding: inappropriate practices in infants. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2010, vol.86, n.3, pp. 196-201. ISSN 0021-7557. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572010000300006.
OBJECTIVE: To assess feeding practices and dietary intake of healthy infants in three Brazilian municipalities. METHODS: By means of a prospective study, we analyzed the food record of 7 consecutive days of an intentional sample (quota and weighted sampling) of 179 healthy infants, aged between 4 and 12 months, from the municipalities of Curitiba, São Paulo, and Recife, who were not being exclusively breastfed. Mothers received oral and written information provided by a nutritionist with the purpose of standardizing the feeding data. The computer program NutWin was used to calculate the dietary intake. RESULTS: The median of the infants' age was 6.8 months (4.0-12.6 months). We found that 50.3% of the infants were no longer being exclusively breastfed. Of these, 12.0 and 6.7% among the infants younger and older than 6 months, respectively, were fed with infant formulae instead of breast milk. Therefore, most infants received whole cow's milk. Infant formula dilution was correct in only 23.8 and 34.7% of the infants younger and older than 6 months old, respectively. With regards to complementary feeding, we found that the median age was 4 months for its introduction and 5.5 months for the introduction of family diet. There was high quantitative inappropriateness of micronutrient intake for infants between 6 and 12 months old who were not exclusively breastfed, mainly in terms of zinc (75%) and iron (45%). CONCLUSION: The present study showed a high frequency of inappropriate feeding practices and dietary intake in very young infants. These practices may lead to an increased risk of development of chronic diseases in the future.
Keywords : Dietary behavior; disease prevention; infant's nutritional disorders; infant care.