Public Health Nutrition

Monitoring and surveillance

Dietary habits of partly breast-fed and completely weaned infants at 9 months of age

Ulla Holmboe Gondolfa1 c1, Inge Tetensa1, Kim Fleischer Michaelsena2 and Ellen Trollea1

a1 Department of Nutrition, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Mørkhøj Bygade 19, 2860 Søborg, Copenhagen, Denmark

a2 Department of Human Nutrition, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark


Objective To test whether there are differences in diet diversity between children still being partly breast-fed at 9 months and those completely weaned at the same age.

Design Cross-sectional study.

Setting Cross-sectional study (SKOT cohort) in the area of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Subjects Healthy term infants (n 312) at 9 months of age (mean 9·1 (sd 0·3) months).

Results The infants partly breast-fed (n 168) at 9 months had significantly lower body weight (P < 0·0001), were significantly shorter (P = 0·0022) and were introduced to complementary foods significantly later (P < 0·0001) than completely weaned infants (n 141) of similar age. Furthermore, they had lower intake of energy, both in absolute amount (P < 0·0001) and per kilogram of body weight (P = 0·049). Significantly lower intakes of most energy-yielding nutrients, in absolute amounts and as energy percentages, were seen for the partly breast-fed compared with the completely weaned infants. These differences appear to be caused primarily by differences in the type and amount of milk consumed, as the energy derived from sources other than milk was similar except for fatty spread and vegetables as a side dish. Only small differences were found for absolute intakes of foods between feeding groups, although fatty spread had significantly higher intake rates and consumption (P = 0·031) among partly breast-fed compared with completely weaned infants.

Conclusions At 9 months the infants partly breast-fed did not eat a less diversified diet compared with those completely weaned at the same age. Despite later introduction to complementary foods compared with the completely weaned, their intake of foods was similar and no delay in their progression towards the family foods was noted.

(Received April 15 2011)

(Accepted November 09 2011)

(Online publication December 09 2011)


c1 Corresponding author: Email