Determinants of a child's diet shortly after weaning and lactation have been relatively understudied. The aim of the present study was hence to identify common dietary patterns in toddlers and to explore parental and child indicators of these dietary patterns. The study was a population-based, prospective birth-cohort study in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Food consumption data of 2420 children aged 14 months were used. A 'Health conscious' dietary pattern characterised by pasta, fruits, vegetables, oils, legumes and fish, and a 'Western-like' dietary pattern characterised by snacks, animal fats, confectionery and sugar-containing beverages were extracted using principal component analysis. Low paternal education, low household income, parental smoking, multiparity, maternal BMI, maternal carbohydrate intake and television-watching of child were determinants of a 'Western-like' diet, whereas parental age, dietary fibre intake during pregnancy, introduction of solids after 6 months and female sex were inversely associated with a 'Western-like' diet of the child. Maternal co-morbidity, alcohol consumption during pregnancy and female sex were inversely associated with a 'Health conscious' dietary pattern of the child, while single parenthood, folic acid use and dietary fibre intake during pregnancy were positively associated. All aforementioned associations were statistically significant. In conclusion, both 'Western-like' and 'Health conscious' diets can already be identified in toddlers. Particularly, adherence to a 'Western-like' diet is associated with unfavourable lifestyle factors of the parents and child, and low socio-economic background. These findings can form a basis for future epidemiological studies regarding dietary patterns and health outcomes in young children.

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British Journal of Nutrition
Department of Pathology

Kiefte-de Jong, J.C, de Vries, J.H, Bleeker, S.E, Jaddoe, V.W.V, Hofman, A, Raat, H, & Moll, H.A. (2013). Socio-demographic and lifestyle determinants of 'Western-like' and 'Health conscious' dietary patterns in toddlers. British Journal of Nutrition (Vol. 109, pp. 137–147). doi:10.1017/S0007114512000682