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Public Health Nutr. 2016 Jun;19(8):1498-505. doi: 10.1017/S1368980015002372. Epub 2015 Aug 17.

Macronutrient and micronutrient intakes of children in Oklahoma child-care centres, USA.

Author information

1Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Laboratory,Department of Nutritional Sciences,College of Allied Health,University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center,1200 North Stonewall Avenue,Suite 3068,Oklahoma City,OK 73117-1215,USA.
2Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology,College of Public Health,University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center,Oklahoma City,OK,USA.
3Early Childhood Education Institute,University of Oklahoma-Tulsa,Schusterman Center,Tulsa,OK,USA.



To determine macronutrients and micronutrients in foods served to and consumed by children at child-care centres in Oklahoma, USA and compare them with Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI).


Observed lunch nutrients compared with one-third of the age-based DRI (for 1-3 years-olds and 4-8-year-olds). Settings Oklahoma child-care centres (n 25), USA.


Children aged 3-5 years (n 415).


Regarding macronutrients, children were served 1782 (sd 686) kJ (426 (sd 164) kcal), 22·0 (sd 9·0) g protein, 51·5 (sd 20·4) g carbohydrate and 30·7 (sd 8·7) % total fat; they consumed 1305 (sd 669) kJ (312 (sd 160 kcal), 16·0 (sd 9·1) g protein, 37·6 (sd 18·5) g carbohydrate and 28·9 (sd 10·6) % total fat. For both age-based DRI: served energy (22-33 % of children), protein and carbohydrate exceeded; consumed energy (7-13 % of children) and protein exceeded, while carbohydrate was inadequate. Regarding micronutrients, for both age-based DRI: served Mg (65·9 (sd 24·7) mg), Zn (3·8 (sd 11·8) mg), vitamin A (249·9 (sd 228·3) μg) and folate (71·9 (sd 40·1) µg) exceeded; vitamin E (1·4 (sd 2·1) mg) was inadequate; served Fe (2·8 (sd 1·8) mg) exceeded only in 1-3-year-olds. Consumed folate (48·3 (sd 38·4) µg) met; Ca (259·4 (sd 146·2) mg) and Zn (2·3 (sd 3·0) mg) exceeded for 1-3-year-olds, but were inadequate for 4-8-year-olds. For both age-based DRI: consumed Fe (1·9 (sd 1·2) mg) and vitamin E (1·0 (sd 1·7) mg) were inadequate; Mg (47·2 (sd 21·8) mg) and vitamin A (155·0 (sd 126·5) µg) exceeded.


Lunch at child-care centres was twice the age-based DRI for consumed protein, while energy and carbohydrate were inadequate. Areas of improvement for micronutrients pertain to Fe and vitamin E for all children; Ca, Zn, vitamin E and folate for older pre-schoolers. Adequate nutrients are essential for development and the study reveals where public health nutrition experts, policy makers and care providers should focus to improve the nutrient density of foods.


Child-care centre; Dietary Reference Intake (DRI); Lunch; Pre-school

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