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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557


PORTELLA, Marcia Bitar; MORAIS, Tania Beninga de  and  MORAIS, Mauro Batista de. Excess sodium and insufficient iron content in complementary foods. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2010, vol.86, n.4, pp.303-310. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVES: To determine, by chemical analysis, the macronutrient, energy, sodium, and iron contents of homemade foods prepared for infants in two socioeconomic classes in Belém, state of Pará, Brazil. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 78 infants (aged 6 to 18 months) distributed into two groups according to socioeconomic status (high or low). Chemical analyses were performed on samples of homemade complementary foods prepared for each infant's lunch. Daily food intake was estimated on the basis of two 24-hour dietary intake recall. RESULTS: Chemical analyses showed that the energy content of some food samples was lower than recommended, both in the low socioeconomic status (SES) group (29.8% of samples) and in the high-SES group (43.0%; p = 0.199). The iron content of all samples, regardless of group, was lower than minimum recommended levels (6.0 mg/100 g). On the other hand, excessive sodium levels (200 mg/100 g) were found in 89.2 and 31.7% of samples in the low- and high-SES groups, respectively (p = 0.027). Dietary recalls showed that energy intake exceeded 120% of the Estimated Energy Requirement in 86.5% of infants in the low-SES group and 92.7% of those in the high-SES group (p = 0.483). Lunch and dinner provided 35.2±14.6 and 36.4±12.0% of daily energy intake in the low- and high-SES groups, respectively (p = 0.692). CONCLUSION: Homemade complementary foods for infants were found to be low in iron. A significant portion of samples had excessive sodium content, most frequently those prepared for infants in low-SES status families.

Keywords : Infant food; food composition; food analysis; nutritional status.

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