• Open Access

Scientific Opinion on nutrient requirements and dietary intakes of infants and young children in the European Union

Authors

  • EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA)


  • Panel members: Carlo Agostoni, Roberto Berni Canani, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Marina Heinonen, Hannu Korhonen, Sébastien La Vieille, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Androniki Naska, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Grażyna Nowicka, Yolanda Sanz, Alfonso Siani, Anders Sjödin, Martin Stern, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Daniel Tomé, Dominique Turck and Hans Verhagen
  • Correspondence: nda@efsa.europa.eu
  • Acknowledgement: The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Dietetic Products: Carlo Agostoni, Roberto Berni Canani, Tamás Decsi, Lotte Lauritzen, Hildegard Przyrembel, Yolanda Sanz, Inga Thorsdottir, Daniel Tomé and Dominique Turck for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion.
  • Adoption date: 9 October 2013
  • Published date: 25 October 2013
  • Question number: EFSA-Q-2013-00263
  • On request from: European Commission

Abstract

Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was asked to deliver a Scientific Opinion on the nutrient requirements and dietary intakes of infants and young children in the European Union. This Opinion describes the dietary requirements of infants and young children, compares dietary intakes and requirements in infants and young children in Europe and, based on these findings, concludes on the potential role of young-child formulae in the diets of infants and young children, including whether they have any nutritional benefits when compared with other foods that may be included in the normal diet of infants and young children. The Panel concluded on the levels of nutrient and energy intakes that are considered adequate for the majority of infants and young children, and evaluated the risk of inadequate nutrient intakes in infants and young children in living Europe. Dietary intakes of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), iron, vitamin D and iodine (in some European countries) are low in infants and young children living in Europe, and particular attention should be paid to ensuring an appropriate supply of ALA, DHA, iron, vitamin D and iodine in infants and young children with inadequate or at risk of inadequate status of these nutrients. No unique role of young-child formulae with respect to the provision of critical nutrients in the diet of infants and young children living in Europe can be identified, so that they cannot be considered as a necessity to satisfy the nutritional requirements of young children when compared with other foods that may be included in the normal diet of young children (such as breast milk, infant formulae, follow-on formulae and cow's milk).

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