Protein intake in toddlers: dietary sources and lifestyle related factors

The aims of this study were to determine the intake and sources of total, animal and plant protein in toddlers, as well as difference in protein intake in terms of demographic and anthropometric characteristics and socioeconomic status. The study was conducted on 130 toddlers (49.2% girls and 50.8% boys), mean age 23.5±0.7 months. The parents fulfilled the general questionnaire and 2-day food record. On average, toddlers’ intake was 3.5±0.1 g kg-1 of protein daily, and the overall population exceeded the recommended protein intake. The mean intake of animal and plant proteins was 2.3±0.1 g kg-1 per day and 1.2±0.05 g kg-1 per day, respectively. The group of meat, chicken, fish and eggs (32.1%) was the main contributor to total protein intake, followed by milk and dairy products (28.1%) and potatoes and cereals (15.7%). Differences in protein intake and the animal to plant protein ratio according to sex, infant body mass index, length of exclusive breastfeeding, and age at the time of introduction of solid foods were not statistically significant. A significantly (p=0.012) higher intake of plant protein was observed with increasing socioeconomic status (1.1±0.1 g kg-1, 1.2±0.1 g kg-1 and 1.6±0.1 g kg-1, respectively). Protein intake in this sample of toddlers exceeded the recommendation for daily protein intake. Animal protein intake was twice as high as plant protein intake, especially in families of lower socioeconomic status. Key words: PROTEINS; PLANT PROTEINS; ANIMAL PROTEINS, CHILD
Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 64, No 3, july - september 2020
Authors: Ana Ilić, Tea Ištvanić, Darja Sokolić, Irena Keser, Dragica Šakić, Tena Niseteo, Irena Colić Barić, Ivana Rumbak
Reference work: Paediatr Croat. 2020;64:166-73

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