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February 22, 2021

Plant-Based Beverages in the Diets of Infants and Young Children

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque
  • 4Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque
  • 5Department of Pediatrics, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
JAMA Pediatr. Published online February 22, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.5840

Plant-based beverage intake in the US increased 61% from 2012 to 20171 owing to interest in vegetarian and vegan diets and plant-based options, environmental and ethical concerns, perceived health benefits, cow’s milk allergy and intolerance, and taste preferences.2 In 2016, 5% of children aged 2 to 4 years enrolled in the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study, one of the largest dietary intake studies in the US, consumed plant-based milk on the day of the survey, an increase from past years.1 However, little is known about patterns of plant-based beverage intake among children aged 12 to 24 months, for which a nutrient-dense diet is particularly important for optimal growth and development.

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