Dietary intake by dutch 1- to 3-year-old children at childcare and at home

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Abstract

The goal of the current study was to assess dietary intake in a large sample \r<br />(N = 1016) of Dutch toddlers (1–3 years old), both at childcare and at home. Dietary intake during two weekdays was recorded using an observation format applied by childcare staff for intake at childcare, and partially pre-coded dietary journals filled out by parents for intake at home. Children’s intake of energy, macronutrients and energy balance-related food groups (fruit, vegetables, sweet snacks, savoury snacks) were compared with Dutch dietary guidelines. In addition, differences between the dietary intake by various subgroups (based on gender, age, childcare attendance, socio-economic status of childcare centre) were explored using multilevel regression analyses, adjusting for nesting of children within centres. Energy intake was high relative to dietary guidelines, and children consumed more or less equal amounts of energy at home and at childcare. Dietary fibre, fruit and vegetable and snack intakes were low. Intake at childcare mainly consisted of carbohydrates, while intake at home contained more proteins and fat. The findings imply various opportunities for childcare centres to improve children’s dietary intake, such as providing fruit and vegetables at snacking moments. In addition, the findings underline the importance of assessing dietary intake over a whole day, both at childcare and at home, to allow intake to be compared with dietary guidelines.

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Gubbels, J. S., Raaijmakers, L. G. M., Gerards, S. M. P. L., & Kremers, S. P. J. (2014). Dietary intake by dutch 1- to 3-year-old children at childcare and at home. Nutrients, 6(1), 304–318. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu6010304

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