It is also important to note that for infants during the first 6 months of life, there are no specific requirements that have been identified for most nutrients beyond that provided by human milk or infant formula. Two exceptions are vitamin D and iron. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that 5 μg of vitamin D (the AI level) be provided to human milk-fed infants beginning in the first two months of life (Gartner and Greer, 2003). Beyond that provided by human milk, most infants may not require iron until 6 months of age. However, a substantial number of at-risk infants, such as those born small for their gestational age, may require iron at an earlier age. Therefore although the nutrition label recommendations use the values derived for infants 7 through 12 months of age, they reflect the requirements of younger infants for some nutrients. It is important to note that infants born prematurely or those with special health issues may not have their nutrient needs met by the standard DVs on the infant nutrition label. These issues underscore the importance of the role of the pediatrician, in partnership with the family, in monitoring the early nutritional health and growth of infants (AAP, 1997). The committee notes that while the historic and current approaches to nutrition labeling for infants and toddlers in the United States and Canada differ, it has developed these recommendations with the anticipation that it will facilitate harmonizing nutrition labeling regulations between the two countries.

Pregnancy and Lactation

During pregnancy and lactation, women have elevated requirements for some nutrients. For example, the requirement for pantothenic acid for pregnant women is 20 percent higher than that for nonpregnant women and for iron it is 172 percent higher (see Appendix Table C-1). Pregnant and lactating women are in three DRI age groups: 14 through 18 years, 19 through 30 years, and 31 through 50 years. The EARs and AIs for pregnant teenagers (ages 14–18 years) are higher for several nutrients and slightly lower for others compared with older pregnant females (ages 19–50 years). In general, the difference between these age groups are less than 20 percent and range from –17 percent for vitamin K for both pregnancy and lactation, to +16 and +13 percent for pregnancy and lactation, respectively, for magnesium. The only exceptions are phosphorus and calcium, where the EARs for both pregnancy and lactation for phosphorus and the AI for calcium are above 20 percent for teens (82 percent for phosphorus and 30 percent for calcium).

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