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Assessing dietary intake among infants and toddlers 0–24 months of age in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Sangita Sharma1*, Fariba Kolahdooz1, Lauren Butler1, Nadine Budd2, Berenice Rushovich3, Galina L Mukhina4, Joel Gittelsohn2 and Benjamin Caballero2

Author affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, 5-10 University Terrace, 8303 112 Street, Edmonton AB T6G 2T4, Canada

2 Center for Human Nutrition, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

3 School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA

4 School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

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Citation and License

Nutrition Journal 2013, 12:52  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-52

Published: 26 April 2013



To characterize food and nutrient intake and develop a population-specific food list to be used as a comprehensive dietary assessment tool for Baltimore infants and toddlers aged 0–24 months. The data were used to inform the Growing Leaps and Bounds (GLB) program, which promotes early obesity prevention among Baltimore infants and toddlers.

Research methods & procedures

A cross-sectional dietary survey using 24-hour recalls among randomly selected primary caregivers of infants and toddlers was conducted.


Data were collected from 84 children, (response rate 61%) 45 boys; 39 girls. Mean daily energy intakes were 677 kcal, 988 kcal, and 1,123 kcal for children 0–6 months, 7–12 months and 13–24 months, respectively. Infants 0–6 months had higher percentage of energy from fat (48%) than infants 7–12 months (34%) and 13–24 months (31%). Mean daily intakes for all nutrients among 0–12 months old were ≥ Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI), while toddlers 13–24 months had inadequate vitamins A, D, and E intake. Breastfeeding occurred in 33% of infants and toddlers 0 to 6 months, while less than 3% of those aged 7 to 24 months were breastfed. A 104-item food list with eight food and drink categories was developed.


Infants were formula fed with a higher frequency than they were breastfed. The consumption of high-sugar and high-fat foods (e.g. sweetened drinks, French fries) increased with each age group, which can increase the risk of childhood obesity.

Children under two; Dietary assessment; Dietary recalls; Food frequency questionnaire; Growing leaps and bounds program