The iron content of healthy diets for one day for breastfed babies and young children

Leonard, Dympna, Buettner, Petra, McDermott, Robyn, and Makrides, Maria (2021) The iron content of healthy diets for one day for breastfed babies and young children. Nutrition and Dietetics. (In Press)

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View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1111/1747-0080.12655
 
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Abstract

Aims: Early childhood anaemia due to iron deficiency is widespread in remote communities across northern Australia. Current recommendations for healthy food to complement breastfeeding at age 6 to 23 months include iron‐rich and iron‐enriched foods. An electronic nutrient analysis was undertaken to assess the iron content of hypothetical healthy diets for breastfed babies and young children aged 6 to 23 months in Australia, in comparison with their estimated requirements.

Methods: Hypothetical diets for 1 day were developed that were consistent with the Foundation Diets for breastfed infants 6 to 12 months and for toddlers 13 to 23 months. Nutrient content was derived using the Australian Food Composition database in FoodWorks 10. The iron content of these two diets were compared with Estimated Average Requirements (EARs) and Recommended Dietary Intakes (RDIs) for iron for infants aged 7 to 12 months and children aged 1 to 3 years.

Results: The iron content of the hypothetical diet for breastfed infants aged 6 to 12 months (5.8 mg) was less than the EAR (7 mg, 83%) and the RDI (11 mg, 53%). For young breastfed children aged 13 to 23 months, the iron content of the hypothetical diet was 4.4 mg; above the EAR (4 mg, 110%) but less than RDI (9 mg, 49%).

Conclusions: Breastfeeding has health and neurodevelopmental benefits for infants and young children that are particularly important in remote Australia where food insecurity and poor nutrition compromise health and wellbeing. Adequate iron intake is also important for neurodevelopment in early life but healthy diets for breastfed babies and young children may have insufficient iron content to meet requirements. The upcoming revision of the Australian Dietary Guidelines provides an opportunity to consider this issue.

Item ID: 66245
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1747-0080
Keywords: anaemia, breastfed, child, development, infant, micronutrients
Copyright Information: © 2021 Dietitians Australia
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC post‐graduate scholarship. Grant Number: APP1092732
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2021 00:28
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3210 Nutrition and dietetics > 321005 Public health nutrition @ 33%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3213 Paediatrics > 321302 Infant and child health @ 33%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4504 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing > 450403 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child health and wellbeing @ 34%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200410 Nutrition @ 33%
20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200506 Neonatal and child health @ 34%
21 INDIGENOUS > 2103 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health > 210302 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status and outcomes @ 33%
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