New research finds infant cereal consumption is associated with improved nutrient intake

March 10, 2020

Arlington, VA, Mar. 10, 2020 - An investigation of infant feeding patterns found infants and toddlers consuming baby cereal, such as rice cereal, had higher intakes of key nutrients of concern, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamin E. 1 Baby cereal consumers were also found to be less likely to have inadequate intakes of iron, calcium and vitamin E - important nutrients for developing infants. The study, Nutrient intake, introduction of baby cereals and other complementary foods in the diets of infants and toddlers from birth to 23 months of age, published in AIMS Public Health, illustrates the importance of rice baby cereal in the diets of infants and toddlers in achieving proper nutrition.

This study examined National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, a national survey of food intake, from 2001 to 2014 to assess food intake in infants and toddlers from birth to 23 months. The study evaluated four age ranges - ages 0 to 3 months, 4 to 6 months, 7 to 11 months and 12 to 23 months - and the role of cereal consumption such as rice cereal. Researchers investigated whether baby cereal consumption (e.g. rice cereal) was related to different eating patterns, nutrient status and intakes of added sugars, saturated fat and sodium, when compared to non-cereal consumers.

When introduced as early as 4 months, baby cereal, including rice cereal, is associated with improved nutrient status. From 4 to 6 months of age, babies who ate cereal took in more calories, carbohydrates, whole grains and key nutrients, like vitamin B6, calcium, iron and magnesium. As infants get older, the results remained similar. From 7 to 11 months, cereal consumers were found to have higher intakes of carbohydrates, vitamin E, calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium. Beyond the first year of life, baby cereal consumption continued to be associated with greater iron, zinc and vitamin E intake.1

"Based on the results, diet recommendations for infants from birth to 23 months should include baby cereal - like rice cereal - due to its role in maintaining nutrient status which supports growth and development," suggests study author, Theresa Nicklas, DrPH.

Overall, the study demonstrates there is a strong public health benefit to feeding infants ages 4 to 11 months infant baby cereal.1 Data indicates that feeding cereal, such as rice cereal, as one of babies' first foods has a positive impact on nutrient status. Babies who consumed rice and other infant cereals, during the first two years of life, had more complete and balanced nutrition than those who were not fed baby cereal. While more research is needed, this study demonstrates a link between feeding infants and toddlers baby cereal and an improved overall nutrition profile.

"The results of this study build a strong case for the benefits of feeding your infant baby cereal," says Nicklas. "As the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee looks to evaluate food patterns and nutrient status of infants aged 0 to 23 months, it is important to consider the role of baby cereal in the diets of infants and toddlers," she continues.
-end-
The study was supported by The Rice Foundation.

About The Rice Foundation:

The Rice Foundation is the research arm of the U.S. rice industry, dedicated to ensuring the long-term sustainability and future competitiveness of U.S. rice. To achieve this mission, the Foundation identifies issues important to the rice industry, funds research projects to address these issues, and supports leadership and education programs, including the Rice Leadership Development Program.

References:

1. Nicklas TA, O'Neil CE & Fulgoni VL III. (2020). Nutrient intake, introduction of baby cereals and other complementary foods in the diets of infants and toddlers from birth to 23 months of age. AIMS Public Health, 7(1): 123-147. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2020012

Pollock Communications

Related Nutrition Articles from Brightsurf:

Here's how to improve packaged foods nutrition
FOP nutrition labeling results in a significant improvement in the nutritional quality of food products.

'Front of package' nutrition labels improved nutrition quality
A new study analyzing 16 years of data on tens of thousands of products finds that the adoption of nutrition data on ''front of package'' labels is associated with improved nutritional content of those foods and their competitors.

Aquaculture's role in nutrition in the COVID-19 era
A new paper from American University examines the economics of an aquaculture industry of the future that is simultaneously environmentally sustainable and nutritious for the nearly 1 billion people worldwide who depend on it.

Fathers are more likely to be referred for nutrition or exercise counseling
Fatherhood status has been linked to medical providers' weight-related practices or counseling referrals.

Refugee children get better health, nutrition via e-vouchers
Electronic food vouchers provided young Rohingya children in Bangladeshi refugee camps with better health and nutrition than direct food assistance, according to new research led by Cornell University, in conjunction with the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Leaders call for 'Moonshot' on nutrition research
Leading nutrition and food policy experts outline a bold case for strengthening federal nutrition research in a live interactive session as part of NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE, a virtual conference hosted by the American Society for Nutrition (ASN).

Featured research from NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE
Press materials are now available for NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE, a dynamic virtual event showcasing new research findings and timely discussions on food and nutrition.

Diet, nutrition have profound effects on gut microbiome
A new literature review from scientists at George Washington University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology suggests that nutrition and diet have a profound impact on the microbial composition of the gut.

Are women getting adequate nutrition during preconception and pregnancy?
In a Maternal & Child Nutrition analysis of published studies on the dietary habits of women who were trying to conceive or were pregnant, most studies indicated that women do not meet nutritional recommendations for vegetable, cereal grain, or folate intake.

Supermarkets and child nutrition in Africa
Hunger and undernutrition are widespread problems in Africa. At the same time, overweight, obesity, and related chronic diseases are also on the rise.

Read More: Nutrition News and Nutrition Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.