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Meat as a first complementary food for breastfed infants: feasibility and impact on zinc intake and status

Krebs, Nancy F.; Westcott, Jamie E.; Butler, Nancy; Robinson, Cordelia; Bell, Melanie; Hambidge, K. Michael

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PMID: 16456417


OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to assess the feasibility and effects of consuming either meat or iron-fortified infant cereal as the first complementary food. METHODS: Eighty-eight exclusively breastfed infants were enrolled at 4 months of age and randomized to receive either pureed beef or iron-fortified infant cereal as the first complementary food, starting after 5 months and continuing until 7 months. Dietary, anthropometric, and developmental data were obtained longitudinally until 12 months, and biomarkers of zinc and iron status were measured at 9 months. RESULTS: Mean (+/-SE) daily zinc intake from complementary foods at 7 months for infants in the meat group was 1.9 +/- 0.2 mg, whereas that of the cereal group was 0.6 +/- 0.1 mg, which is approximately 25% of the estimated average requirement. Tolerance and acceptance were comparable for the two intervention foods. Increase in head circumference from 7 to 12 months was greater for the meat group, and zinc and protein intakes were predictors of head growth. Biochemical status did not differ by feeding group, but approximately 20% of the infants had low (<60 microg/dL) plasma zinc concentrations, and 30% to 40% had low plasma ferritin concentrations (

Automatic Tags

Female; Humans; Male; Infant; Nutritional Status; Nutritional Requirements; Nutrition Policy; Biomarkers; Longitudinal Studies; Edible Grain; Trace Elements; Meat; Breast Feeding; Head; Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena; Zinc; Iron; Food, Fortified; Infant Food; Weaning; Breastfeeding; Complementary foods; Infant cereal

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