Research Brief| Volume 46, ISSUE 3, SUPPLEMENT , S79-S86, May 2014

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Differences in Energy and Micronutrient Intakes Among Central Texas WIC Infants and Toddlers After the Package Change


      To assess nutrient intakes after the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) package changes within an at-risk, majority Hispanic population of WIC infants and toddlers in Central Texas.


      For this cross-sectional observational study, Nutrition Data System for Research was used to collect 24-hour recalls of infants and toddlers from a sample of caregivers in 2009 and 2011. Usual nutrient intakes were estimated and compared with Dietary Reference Intakes using the National Cancer Institute method. Mean single-day nutrient intakes were compared using Mann-Whitney tests.


      Subjects were children ages 4–24 months (2009, n = 84; 2011, n = 120). After the package change, usual energy intakes exceeded recommended levels for infants (79% in excess of Estimated Energy Requirement), but fell below recommended levels for toddlers (88% below Estimated Energy Requirement). Also after the package change, mean usual intake of vitamin D was below the Estimated Average Requirement for toddlers (6.54 vs 10 μg), and mean usual intakes of vitamin A and zinc exceeded the Tolerable Upper Intake Level for all groups.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Whereas lower energy intake may reduce obesity risk, in toddlers, lower energy intake increases risk for micronutrient deficiencies. Recommendations include culturally appropriate education and reinstatement of previous milk allotment in the toddler package.

      Key Words

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