Few data are available on the seasonal variation of iron and zinc intake in infants. We conducted 24 hour recall dietary surveys on infants living in rural Kenya to determine individual energy, iron, and zinc intake estimates.
Families were randomly selected from the WASH Benefits Trial. Quantitative 24-hour recall data were collected on 155 infants, aged 8-29 months, by enumerators who interviewed a primary caretaker. The survey collection period spanned eight months which included two rainy seasons, which were April – May 2015, and October – November 2015. The dry season ranged from June-September 2015. Individual nutrient intakes were calculated using the WorldFood Dietary Assessment International Minilist. Data were analyzed using multivariate linear regression, adjusting for child age and cluster.
A total of 85 unique foods were reported (mean: 7.4 foods/child). Iron and zinc intakes were low, as 82.6% of infants consumed inadequate zinc based on the Estimated Average Requirement, and 22.6% of infants consumed inadequate iron. The mean (SD) intake of energy was 849.0(388.7) kilocalories, zinc was 2.7(1.3)mg, and iron was 4.9(2.4)mg, which did not differ by season. The greatest contributor to both iron and zinc in this population was maize meal, due to its frequent consumption. The mean(SD) phytate intake was 866.0(470.7)mg and the phytate:zinc and phytate:iron molar ratios in the diet were 32.1(8.9) and 15.4(3.3), respectively.
Iron and zinc intake were low due to a diet of low bioavailability and poor diversity, but their intake did not differ significantly by season.