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Macronutrient and micronutrient intakes of children in Oklahoma child-care centres, USA

Objective: To determine macronutrients and micronutrients in foods served to and consumed by children at child-care centres in Oklahoma, USA and compare them with Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). Design: Observed lunch nutrients compared with one-third of the age-based DRI (for 1-3 years-olds and 4-8-year-olds). Settings: Oklahoma child-care centres (n 25), USA. Subjects: Children aged 3-5 years (n 415). Results: Regarding macronutrients, children were served 1782 (SD 686) kJ (426 (SD 164) kcal), 22.0 (SD 9.0) g protein, 51.5 (SD 20.4) g carbohydrate and 30.7 (SD 8.7) % total fat; they consumed 1305 (SD 669) kJ (312 (SD 160 kcal), 16.0 (SD 9.1) g protein, 37.6 (SD 18.5) g carbohydrate and 28.9 (SD 10.6) % total fat. For both age-based DRI: served energy (22-33 % of children), protein and carbohydrate exceeded; consumed energy (7-13% of children) and protein exceeded, while carbohydrate was inadequate. Regarding micronutrients, for both age-based DRI: served Mg (65.9 (SD 24.7) mg), Zn (3.8 (SD 11.8) mg), vitamin A (249.9 (SD 228.3) [micrograms]) and folate (71.9 (SD 40.1) [micrograms]) exceeded; vitamin E (1.4 (SD 2.1) mg) was inadequate; served Fe (2.8 (SD 1.8) mg) exceeded only in 1-3-year-olds. Consumed folate (48.3 (SD 38.4) [micrograms]) met; Ca (259.4 (SD 146.2) mg) and Zn (2.3 (SD 3.0) mg) exceeded for 1-3-year-olds, but were inadequate for 4-8-year-olds. For both age-based DRI: consumed Fe (1.9 (SD 1.2) mg) and vitamin E (1.0 (SD 1.7) mg) were inadequate; Mg (47.2 (SD 21.8) mg) and vitamin A (155.0 (SD 126.5) [micrograms]) exceeded. Conclusions: Lunch at child-care centres was twice the age-based DRI for consumed protein, while energy and carbohydrate were inadequate. Areas of improvement for micronutrients pertain to Fe and vitamin E for all children; Ca, Zn, vitamin E and folate for older pre-schoolers. Adequate nutrients are essential for development and the study reveals where public health nutrition experts, policy makers and care providers should focus to improve the nutrient density of foods. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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