Infants & Toddlers

This section provides an overview of the nutrition considerations by life stage and need state.
Select a need state below to learn more.

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Infants

During the first 12 months a baby experiences the most rapid growth and development period in its lifetime. Nutrition is critical at this time, as the baby’s diet must support this rapid growth rate.

During the first six months, infants are required to consume increasing volumes of human milk as they grow. During the second six months, infants experience slowed growth and gradual weaning to a mixed diet of human milk and solid foods. Nutrients such as iron and zinc have relatively high requirements.

The quality of an infant’s diet will affect their interactions with their environment. Healthy, well-nourished infants have the energy to respond to and learn from the stimuli in their environment and to interact.

Toddlers

Toddlers experience greater velocity of growth in height compared to four and five year olds, and this distinction provides the biological basis for establishing separate recommended intakes for this age group. Physical growth may be less remarkable and proceed at a steadier pace than it did during the first year, however, these preschool and elementary school years are a time of significant growth in the social, cognitive and emotional areas.

Proper nutrition is critical to prevent under nutrition and growth retardation and to support growth and development. Development of brain and vision are rapid during these first years of life thus nutrition to support this development is essential.

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  • References

    Cunningham-Rundles S, Lin H, Ho-Lin D, Dnistrian A, Cassileth BR, Perlman JM. Role of nutrients in the development of neonatal immune response. Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67 Suppl 2:S152-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-

    Li M, Wang M, Donovan SM. Early development of the gut microbiome and immune-mediated childhood disorders. Semin Reprod Med. 2014 Jan;32(1):74-86. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1361825.

    Lönnerdal B, Hernell O. An Opinion on “Staging” of Infant Formula – A Developmental Perspective On Infant Feeding. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2015 Apr 2

    Lönnerdal B. Infant formula and infant nutrition: bioactive proteins of human milk and implications for composition of infant formulas. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Mar;99(3):712S-7S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071993.

    Neville MC, Anderson SM, McManaman JL, Badger TM, Bunik M, Contractor N, Crume T, Dabelea D, Donovan SM, Forman N, Frank DN, Friedman JE, German JB, Goldman A, Hadsell D, Hambidge M, Hinde K, Horseman ND, Hovey RC, Janoff E, Krebs NF, Lebrilla CB, Lemay DG, MacLean PS, Meier P, Morrow AL, Neu J, Nommsen-Rivers LA, Raiten DJ, Rijnkels M, Seewaldt V, Shur BD, VanHouten J, Williamson P. Lactation and neonatal nutrition: defining and refining the critical questions. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2012 Jun;17(2):167-88. doi: 10.1007/s10911-012-9261-5. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

    Rueter K, Prescott SL, Palmer DJ. Nutritional approaches for the primary prevention of allergic disease: An update. J Paediatr Child Health. 2015 Jul 2. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12951.

Growth and Development

  • Appropriate amounts of essential nutrients are necessary to ensure and sustain infants’ and toddlers’ rapid rate of growth and development
  • Macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrates and fat are essential to support these energy needs for rapid growth and development
  • Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are necessary to support tissue growth and ensure appropriate development.
  • Kerry Offering
    • NutriVie™ Nutritional Lipids
    • Ultranor™ Milk Protein Isolates and Concentrates
    • Ultranor™ Humanised Casein Fraction
    • Hyprol™ Hydrolysed Dairy and Plant Proteins
    • Hyprol™ Mildly Hydrolysed Milk Proteins (Comfort Proteins)
    • Selpro™ 80 Selectively Hydrolysed Protein
    • Low PH Fermented Infant Milk Formula
    • Enzyme Solutions
    • Fermented Ingredients
    • Taste Systems
  • References

    Cunningham-Rundles S, Lin H, Ho-Lin D, Dnistrian A, Cassileth BR, Perlman JM. Role of nutrients in the development of neonatal immune response. Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67 Suppl 2:S152-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-

    Li M, Wang M, Donovan SM. Early development of the gut microbiome and immune-mediated childhood disorders. Semin Reprod Med. 2014 Jan;32(1):74-86. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1361825.

    Lönnerdal B, Hernell O. An Opinion on “Staging” of Infant Formula – A Developmental Perspective On Infant Feeding. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2015 Apr 2

    Lönnerdal B. Infant formula and infant nutrition: bioactive proteins of human milk and implications for composition of infant formulas. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Mar;99(3):712S-7S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071993.

    Neville MC, Anderson SM, McManaman JL, Badger TM, Bunik M, Contractor N, Crume T, Dabelea D, Donovan SM, Forman N, Frank DN, Friedman JE, German JB, Goldman A, Hadsell D, Hambidge M, Hinde K, Horseman ND, Hovey RC, Janoff E, Krebs NF, Lebrilla CB, Lemay DG, MacLean PS, Meier P, Morrow AL, Neu J, Nommsen-Rivers LA, Raiten DJ, Rijnkels M, Seewaldt V, Shur BD, VanHouten J, Williamson P. Lactation and neonatal nutrition: defining and refining the critical questions. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2012 Jun;17(2):167-88. doi: 10.1007/s10911-012-9261-5. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

    Rueter K, Prescott SL, Palmer DJ. Nutritional approaches for the primary prevention of allergic disease: An update. J Paediatr Child Health. 2015 Jul 2. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12951.

Brain Development

  • The rapid development of a child’s brain begins in the prenatal stage and continues after birth. Although cell formation is virtually complete before birth – a newborn baby has about a 100 billion brain cells – brain maturation and important neural pathways and connections are progressively developed after birth in early childhood
  • Inadequate nutrition before birth and in early childhood can seriously interfere with brain development and lead to neurological and behavioural disorders
  • Nutrients of critical importance to brain development and function as well as cognitive performance include DHA and ARA i.e. long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as micronutrients such as vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, choline, iron and zinc.
  • Kerry Offering
    • NutriVie™ Nutritional Lipids
    • NLCS – Nutritional Lipid Cognitive System
    • Enzyme Solutions
    • Fermented Ingredients
    • Taste Systems
  • References

    Cunningham-Rundles S, Lin H, Ho-Lin D, Dnistrian A, Cassileth BR, Perlman JM. Role of nutrients in the development of neonatal immune response. Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67 Suppl 2:S152-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-

    Li M, Wang M, Donovan SM. Early development of the gut microbiome and immune-mediated childhood disorders. Semin Reprod Med. 2014 Jan;32(1):74-86. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1361825.

    Lönnerdal B, Hernell O. An Opinion on “Staging” of Infant Formula – A Developmental Perspective On Infant Feeding. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2015 Apr 2

    Lönnerdal B. Infant formula and infant nutrition: bioactive proteins of human milk and implications for composition of infant formulas. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Mar;99(3):712S-7S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071993.

    Neville MC, Anderson SM, McManaman JL, Badger TM, Bunik M, Contractor N, Crume T, Dabelea D, Donovan SM, Forman N, Frank DN, Friedman JE, German JB, Goldman A, Hadsell D, Hambidge M, Hinde K, Horseman ND, Hovey RC, Janoff E, Krebs NF, Lebrilla CB, Lemay DG, MacLean PS, Meier P, Morrow AL, Neu J, Nommsen-Rivers LA, Raiten DJ, Rijnkels M, Seewaldt V, Shur BD, VanHouten J, Williamson P. Lactation and neonatal nutrition: defining and refining the critical questions. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2012 Jun;17(2):167-88. doi: 10.1007/s10911-012-9261-5. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

    Rueter K, Prescott SL, Palmer DJ. Nutritional approaches for the primary prevention of allergic disease: An update. J Paediatr Child Health. 2015 Jul 2. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12951.

Bone Health

  • Childhood is when a person’s peak bone producing years occur. Many different nutrients are required for the growth, development and maintenance of healthy bones such as calcium, vitamin D, phosphorous, vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium and protein
  • At birth, the skeleton has only 20-30g of calcium and approximately 150mg of calcium is deposited in the bones each day until the age of 20. If calcium intake is insufficient when bones are developing, they may never reach full strength or peak bone mass
  • Vitamin D is also essential for bone health as it increases the absorption of calcium from foods. In the past many children developed rickets as they lacked vitamin D and this is beginning to re-emerge in some population groups.
  • Kerry Offering
    • Ultranor™ Milk Protein Isolates and Concentrates
    • Hyprol™ Hydrolysed Dairy and Plant Proteins
    • Ultranor™ Humanised Casein Fraction
    • Hyprol™ Mildly Hydrolysed Milk Proteins (Comfort Proteins)
    • Selpro™ 80 Selectively Hydrolysed Protein
    • Profile™ GOS – GOS Enriched Whey Powder
    • Enzyme Solutions
    • Fermented Ingredients
    • Taste Systems
  • References

    Cunningham-Rundles S, Lin H, Ho-Lin D, Dnistrian A, Cassileth BR, Perlman JM. Role of nutrients in the development of neonatal immune response. Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67 Suppl 2:S152-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-

    Li M, Wang M, Donovan SM. Early development of the gut microbiome and immune-mediated childhood disorders. Semin Reprod Med. 2014 Jan;32(1):74-86. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1361825.

    Lönnerdal B, Hernell O. An Opinion on “Staging” of Infant Formula – A Developmental Perspective On Infant Feeding. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2015 Apr 2

    Lönnerdal B. Infant formula and infant nutrition: bioactive proteins of human milk and implications for composition of infant formulas. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Mar;99(3):712S-7S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071993.

    Neville MC, Anderson SM, McManaman JL, Badger TM, Bunik M, Contractor N, Crume T, Dabelea D, Donovan SM, Forman N, Frank DN, Friedman JE, German JB, Goldman A, Hadsell D, Hambidge M, Hinde K, Horseman ND, Hovey RC, Janoff E, Krebs NF, Lebrilla CB, Lemay DG, MacLean PS, Meier P, Morrow AL, Neu J, Nommsen-Rivers LA, Raiten DJ, Rijnkels M, Seewaldt V, Shur BD, VanHouten J, Williamson P. Lactation and neonatal nutrition: defining and refining the critical questions. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2012 Jun;17(2):167-88. doi: 10.1007/s10911-012-9261-5. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

    Rueter K, Prescott SL, Palmer DJ. Nutritional approaches for the primary prevention of allergic disease: An update. J Paediatr Child Health. 2015 Jul 2. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12951.

Digestive Health

  • It takes about a year for an infant’s digestive system to mature. The types of food and when you introduce them to a baby can impact the health of an infant’s complex and sensitive digestive system
  • When babies are born, their digestive tract is essentially a clean slate, which very quickly colonises with a vast collection of microorganisms. Prebiotics and probiotics may help to establish and maintain a healthy gut microflora, which in turn is beneficial for healthy digestion and support of the immune system
  • Dietary fibre is also important once infants begin to wean, as it has been associated with improved digestion by regulating gut function and intestinal transit. Additionally, prebiotic fibres, stimulate gut microbiota, which have beneficial health effects.
  • Kerry Offering
    • Hyprol™ Hydrolysed Dairy and Plant Proteins
    • Hyprol™ Mildly Hydrolysed Milk Proteins (Comfort Proteins)
    • Profile™ GOS – GOS Enriched Whey Powder
    • EmulGold™ Fibre – Soluble Gum Acacia Fibre
    • Ultranor™ Humanised Casein Fraction
    • Beatreme™ Yoghurt Powder/Fermented Skimmed Milk Powder
    • NutriVie™ LP100 OPO – Nutritional Lipid
    • Lactobacillus lermentum – Probiotic of Human Breast Milk Origin
    • Enzyme Solutions
    • Fermented Ingredients
    • Taste Systems
  • References

    Cunningham-Rundles S, Lin H, Ho-Lin D, Dnistrian A, Cassileth BR, Perlman JM. Role of nutrients in the development of neonatal immune response. Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67 Suppl 2:S152-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-

    Li M, Wang M, Donovan SM. Early development of the gut microbiome and immune-mediated childhood disorders. Semin Reprod Med. 2014 Jan;32(1):74-86. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1361825.

    Lönnerdal B, Hernell O. An Opinion on “Staging” of Infant Formula – A Developmental Perspective On Infant Feeding. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2015 Apr 2

    Lönnerdal B. Infant formula and infant nutrition: bioactive proteins of human milk and implications for composition of infant formulas. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Mar;99(3):712S-7S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071993.

    Neville MC, Anderson SM, McManaman JL, Badger TM, Bunik M, Contractor N, Crume T, Dabelea D, Donovan SM, Forman N, Frank DN, Friedman JE, German JB, Goldman A, Hadsell D, Hambidge M, Hinde K, Horseman ND, Hovey RC, Janoff E, Krebs NF, Lebrilla CB, Lemay DG, MacLean PS, Meier P, Morrow AL, Neu J, Nommsen-Rivers LA, Raiten DJ, Rijnkels M, Seewaldt V, Shur BD, VanHouten J, Williamson P. Lactation and neonatal nutrition: defining and refining the critical questions. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2012 Jun;17(2):167-88. doi: 10.1007/s10911-012-9261-5. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

    Rueter K, Prescott SL, Palmer DJ. Nutritional approaches for the primary prevention of allergic disease: An update. J Paediatr Child Health. 2015 Jul 2. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12951.

Immune Health

  • Because of their immature immune systems, young infants and children are less able to mount an effective immune response to fight infections compared to adults. Optimal nutrition is essential for a healthy immune system
  • Adequate protein status is essential to support immune health and may aid in the reduction of infection risk
  • Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin C, selenium, zinc, etc.) also help to boost natural defences and protect cells
  • More than 70% of the body’s immune system resides in the digestive system. The digestive tract helps us to digest food, absorb nutrients, assist toxin clearance and shields us from invading bacteria and viruses. Therefore, digestive health must also be considered in immune health maintenance.
  • Kerry Offering
    • Profile™ GOS – GOS Enriched Whey Powder
    • Selpro™ 80 Selectively Hydrolysed Protein
    • EmulGold™ Fibre – Soluble Gum Acacia Fibre
    • Lactobacillus fermentum – Probiotic of Human Breast Milk Origin
    • Enzyme Solutions
    • Fermented Ingredients
    • Taste Systems
    • Wellmune® Beta Glucan
  • References

    Cunningham-Rundles S, Lin H, Ho-Lin D, Dnistrian A, Cassileth BR, Perlman JM. Role of nutrients in the development of neonatal immune response. Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67 Suppl 2:S152-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-

    Li M, Wang M, Donovan SM. Early development of the gut microbiome and immune-mediated childhood disorders. Semin Reprod Med. 2014 Jan;32(1):74-86. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1361825.

    Lönnerdal B, Hernell O. An Opinion on “Staging” of Infant Formula – A Developmental Perspective On Infant Feeding. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2015 Apr 2

    Lönnerdal B. Infant formula and infant nutrition: bioactive proteins of human milk and implications for composition of infant formulas. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Mar;99(3):712S-7S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071993.

    Neville MC, Anderson SM, McManaman JL, Badger TM, Bunik M, Contractor N, Crume T, Dabelea D, Donovan SM, Forman N, Frank DN, Friedman JE, German JB, Goldman A, Hadsell D, Hambidge M, Hinde K, Horseman ND, Hovey RC, Janoff E, Krebs NF, Lebrilla CB, Lemay DG, MacLean PS, Meier P, Morrow AL, Neu J, Nommsen-Rivers LA, Raiten DJ, Rijnkels M, Seewaldt V, Shur BD, VanHouten J, Williamson P. Lactation and neonatal nutrition: defining and refining the critical questions. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2012 Jun;17(2):167-88. doi: 10.1007/s10911-012-9261-5. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

    Rueter K, Prescott SL, Palmer DJ. Nutritional approaches for the primary prevention of allergic disease: An update. J Paediatr Child Health. 2015 Jul 2. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12951.

Food Intolerances/Allergies

  • The last 40 years has seen a dramatic rise in allergic diseases with evidence suggesting this is associated with westernisation of lifestyles
  • Egg and milk allergies are the most common among infants and young children. True cow’s milk protein allergy is found in about 2-3% of infants. This then falls to less than <1% in children less than 6 years
  • Lactose intolerance is more common, especially among certain ethnicities. About 20% of Hispanic, Asian and African American children under the age of 5 are lactose intolerant
  • With the growing prevalence of allergies and intolerances, hypoallergenic products, which continue to meet the needs of growing infants and children are essential. Examples include vegetable protein sources, hydrolysed proteins and enzyme solutions.
  • Kerry Offering
    • Hyprol™ Hydrolysed Plant Proteins
    • Selpro™ 80 Selectively Hydrolysed Protein
    • Hyprol™ Mildly Hydrolysed Milk Proteins (Comfort Proteins)
    • Ultranor™ Humanised Casein Fraction
    • NutriVie™ Nutritional Lipids
    • Enzyme Solutions
    • Fermented Ingredients
    • Taste Systems
  • References

    Cunningham-Rundles S, Lin H, Ho-Lin D, Dnistrian A, Cassileth BR, Perlman JM. Role of nutrients in the development of neonatal immune response. Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67 Suppl 2:S152-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-

    Li M, Wang M, Donovan SM. Early development of the gut microbiome and immune-mediated childhood disorders. Semin Reprod Med. 2014 Jan;32(1):74-86. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1361825.

    Lönnerdal B, Hernell O. An Opinion on “Staging” of Infant Formula – A Developmental Perspective On Infant Feeding. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2015 Apr 2

    Lönnerdal B. Infant formula and infant nutrition: bioactive proteins of human milk and implications for composition of infant formulas. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Mar;99(3):712S-7S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071993.

    Neville MC, Anderson SM, McManaman JL, Badger TM, Bunik M, Contractor N, Crume T, Dabelea D, Donovan SM, Forman N, Frank DN, Friedman JE, German JB, Goldman A, Hadsell D, Hambidge M, Hinde K, Horseman ND, Hovey RC, Janoff E, Krebs NF, Lebrilla CB, Lemay DG, MacLean PS, Meier P, Morrow AL, Neu J, Nommsen-Rivers LA, Raiten DJ, Rijnkels M, Seewaldt V, Shur BD, VanHouten J, Williamson P. Lactation and neonatal nutrition: defining and refining the critical questions. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2012 Jun;17(2):167-88. doi: 10.1007/s10911-012-9261-5. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

    Rueter K, Prescott SL, Palmer DJ. Nutritional approaches for the primary prevention of allergic disease: An update. J Paediatr Child Health. 2015 Jul 2. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12951.