Authors: Gómez-Martín M, Herrero-Morín D, Solís G, Suarez M, Fernández N, Arboleya S, Gueimonde M (IPLA-CSIC), and González S
Article published on: Nutrients
Ensuring the nutritional demands of preterm (PT) infants during complementary feeding could contribute significantly to the infants’ long-term health and development. However, the dietary guidelines for complementary feeding in PT are scarce. Thus, describing dietary intake and identifying nutritional targets for these infants could be of great interest. The aim of this study is to assess the food intake and anthropometric parameters in a Mediterranean infant cohort from 6 to 24 months and to identify nutritional targets especially focused on late preterm infants. This is a longitudinal prospective study analyzing information from administered questionnaires about general characteristics and food frequency consumption in 115 infants (20 PT (32 to 36 gestational weeks), 95 full-term (FT)) at 6, 12 and 24 months of age. Results show that the differences in the prevalence of underweight observed in PT infants vs. FT infants are maintained for up to 6 months of age but disappear at 12 and 24 months. The age of inclusion of new foods and the average intake of the main food groups was not different from that of FTs. Although protein intake at 6 months was directly correlated with weight gain and growth in FT, these associations were not observed in PT. At the nutritional level, the low intake of vitamin D in preterm infants is noteworthy. These findings may be useful when designing new intervention strategies for this population group.
Keywords: complementary feeding; preterm; protein intake; vitamin D.