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Work Under Way

Question

[For those under 2 years of age] Can USDA Food Patterns be established based on the relationships identified [in the systematic reviews]? If so, how well do USDA Food Pattern variations meet nutrient recommendations for infants and toddlers? If nutrient needs are not met, is there evidence to support supplementation and/or consumption of fortified foods to meet nutrient adequacy?

Approach to Answering the Question
Food Pattern Modeling

Subcommittee
Data Analysis and Food Pattern Modeling Cross-Cutting Working Group

Food Pattern Modeling Protocol
Developed for each scientific question being examined, the protocol describes how the food pattern modeling methodology will be used to answer the question, including:

  • Establishing food patterns for this age group
  • Developing nutrient profiles for food groups/subgroups used in modeling 
  • Examining modifications to elements of USDA Food Pattern
  • Characterizing nutrient adequacy of healthy eating variations 
  • Developing conclusion statements to summarize each question
  • Making recommendations to inform future work on this topic

For additional details, see the full protocol for the questions, [For those under 2 years of age] Can USDA Food Patterns be established based on the relationships identified [in the systematic reviews]? If so, how well do USDA Food Pattern variations meet nutrient recommendations for infants and toddlers? If nutrient needs are not met, is there evidence to support supplementation and/or consumption of fortified foods to meet nutrient adequacy?

View Full Protocol

Draft Conclusion Statement

The draft conclusion statements listed below describe the state of the science related to the specific question examined. Draft conclusions are not considered final until they have been deliberated with and decided upon by the full Committee and published in the Committee’s final advisory report. Individual conclusion statements should not be interpreted as dietary guidance or the Committee’s overarching advice to the Departments. 

Ages 0 to less than 6 months
This developmental time period includes primarily exclusive feeding of human milk and/or infant formula; thus, USDA Food Patterns are not necessary for children under 6 months of age.

Ages 6 to 12 months
The Committee was not able to establish USDA Food Patterns for infants ages 6 to 12 months; a description of the rationale will be provided. However, examples of potential combinations of complementary foods and beverages (CFB) that could be consumed to aim for nutrient adequacy will be described for a variety of scenarios and calorie levels

Ages 12 to less than 24 months
The Committee will propose USDA Food Patterns for ages 12 to less than 24 months that are consistent with the proportions of food groups and subgroups recommended for children ages 2 years and older.