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Key elements of the Meal Requirements appear below. (The meal patterns for this age group are presented in Chapter 7, Table 7-1.)

  • Infants from birth to 6 months will be fed breast milk or formula exclusively.

  • Infants ages 6–11 months will be fed breast milk or formula and appropriate solid foods.

  • For infants ages 6–11 months, developmental readiness is to be considered in offering complementary foods.

  • Infants from birth to 1 year will not be fed water or fruit juice.

The Meal Requirements for young children are also consistent with the DRIs. Meat and suitable meat alternates are emphasized for infants ages 6–11 months of age, to address concerns about iron and zinc intakes.

Although the committee was unable to develop strong incentives for breastfeeding through a mechanism related to the Meal Requirements, it encourages the development of such incentives. In addition, the recommendation to delay the introduction of solid foods until the infant is 6 months old is intended to encourage a longer period of full breastfeeding for breastfed infants.

Second Meal Requirement Recommendation

The second recommendation addresses variety and the quality of the foods served:

For all children ages 1 year and older and for adults, USDA should adopt Meal Requirements that increase the variety of fruits and vegetables, increase the proportion of whole grains, and decrease the content of solid fats, added sugars, trans fats, and sodium (Tables 7-2 through 7-8).

This recommendation aligns adult and child feeding recommendations with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the DRIs, consistent with Criterion 1b, and recognizes that variety and diet quality are also important for younger children.

Alignment with guidance for 1-year-old children The Meal Requirements for children 1 year of age were determined using three resources: AAP recommendations, MyPyramid food group recommendations for young children, and calorie and nutrient targets for children of this age. Although MyPyramid was not designed for children under 2 years of age, it was deemed to be an appropriate guide for setting meal patterns for 1-year-old children, with minor adjustments such as the use of whole milk rather than

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