• community;
  • International Child Health;
  • nutrition

Aim:  Describe breast- and bottle-feeding patterns and the introduction of solid feeds and sugar containing drinks to the dietary intake of a cohort of urban Aboriginal infants in the first year of life.

Methods:  Two hundred and seventy-four infants were recruited to a cohort study and information about infant nutrition was collected from their mothers during face to face interviews when the infants were aged 6–12 weeks, 7–8 months and 12 months old.

Results:  88.3% of mothers initiated breast-feeding, but only 43.8% of infants were exclusively breast-fed at 6–12 weeks. By 12 months of age 69.8% of babies had received fruit juice in their bottles, 59.8% received cordial. 64.5% of infants were given water in their bottles. The majority of infants had received ‘fast foods’ by 12 months of age with 56.2% had been given coca cola, 68% lemonade and 78% fried chips.

Conclusions:  This study highlights areas in which nutrition health promotion can be targeted to prevent common childhood health problems including promoting and supporting mothers to sustain breast-feeding and opportunities to reduce the sugar and fat intake among infants.