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Food Nutr Res. 2013 Dec 2;57. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v57i0.21836. eCollection 2013.

Nutritional adequacy of diets containing growing up milks or unfortified cow's milk in Irish children (aged 12-24 months).

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  • 1School of Food & Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.



Growing up milks (GUM) are milk-based drinks with added vitamins and minerals intended for children aged 12-36 months. Few data are available on the consumption of GUM and their role in the diets of young children.


To determine the nutritional adequacy of two groups of 12-24-month-old Irish children by type of milk consumption (consumers or non-consumers of GUM).


Using data from a cross-sectional study of Irish children, the National Pre-School Nutrition Survey (2010-2011), two groups of children were defined. The groups included children aged 12-24 months with an average daily total milk intake of at least 300 g and consuming GUM (≥100 g/day) together with cow's milk (n=29) or cow's milk only (n=56).


While average total daily energy intakes were similar in both consumers and non-consumers of GUM, intakes of protein, saturated fat, and vitamin B12 were lower and intakes of carbohydrate, dietary fibre, iron, zinc, vitamins C and D were higher in consumers of GUM. These differences in nutrient intakes are largely attributable to the differences in composition between GUM and cow's milk. For both consumers and non-consumers of GUM, intakes of carbohydrate and fat were generally in line with recommendations while intakes of protein, dietary fibre and most micronutrients were adequate. For children consuming cow's milk only, high proportions had inadequate intakes of iron and vitamin D; however, these proportions were much lower in consumers of GUM.


Consumption of GUM reduced the risk of inadequacies of iron and vitamin D, two nutrients frequently lacking in the diets of young children consuming unfortified cow's milk only.


children; cow's milk; growing up milks; iron; toddler milks; vitamin D

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