To examine the association of timing of introduction and frequency of fruit and vegetable intake during infancy with frequency of fruit and vegetable intake at age 6 years in a cohort of US children.
We analyzed data on fruit and vegetable intake during late infancy, age of fruit and vegetable introduction, and frequency of fruit and vegetable intake at 6 years from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II and the Year 6 Follow-Up (Y6FU) Study. We determined the percent of 6-year-old children consuming fruits and vegetables less than once per day and examined associations with infant fruit and vegetable intake using logistic regression modeling, controlling for multiple covariates (n = 1078).
Based on maternal report, 31.9% of 6-year-old children consumed fruit less than once daily and 19.0% consumed vegetables less than once daily. In adjusted analyses, children who consumed fruits and vegetables less than once daily during late infancy had increased odds of eating fruits and vegetables less than once daily at age 6 years (fruit, adjusted odds ratio: 2.48; vegetables, adjusted odds ratio: 2.40). Age of introduction of fruits and vegetables was not associated with intake at age 6 years.
Our study suggests that infrequent intake of fruits and vegetables during late infancy is associated with infrequent intake of these foods at 6 years of age. These findings highlight the importance of infant feeding guidance that encourages intake of fruits and vegetables and the need to examine barriers to fruit and vegetable intake during infancy.