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this report. Additional subdivisions within these groups may be added in later reports. If data are too sparse to distinguish differences in requirements by life stage or gender group, the analysis may be presented for a larger grouping.


Infancy covers the period from birth through 12 months of age and is divided into two 6-month intervals. The first 6-month interval was not subdivided further because intake is relatively constant during this time. That is, as infants grow they ingest more food; however, on a body weight basis their intake remains the same. During the second 6 months of life, growth velocity slows, and thus total daily nutrient needs on a body weight basis may be less than those during the first 6 months of life.

For a particular nutrient, the average intake by full-term infants who are born to healthy, well-nourished mothers and exclusively fed human milk has been adopted as the primary basis for deriving the Adequate Intake (AI) for most nutrients during the first 6 months of life. The value used is thus not an Estimated Average Requirement (EAR); the extent to which intake of human milk may result in exceeding the actual requirements of the infant is not known, and ethics of experimentation preclude testing the levels known to be potentially inadequate. Therefore, the AI is not an EAR in which only half of the group would be expected to have their needs met.

Using the infant fed human milk as a model is in keeping with the basis for estimating nutrient allowances of infants developed in the last Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) (NRC, 1989) and Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNI) (Health Canada, 1990) reports. It also supports the recommendation that exclusive human milk feeding is the preferred method of feeding for normal full-term infants for the first 4 to 6 months of life. This recommendation has also been made by the Canadian Paediatric Society (Health Canada, 1990), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP, 1997) and in the Food and Nutrition Board report Nutrition During Lactation (IOM, 1991).

In general, for this report special consideration was not given to possible variations in physiological need during the first month after birth or to the variations in intake of nutrients from human milk that result from differences in milk volume and nutrient concentration during early lactation. Specific Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) to meet the needs of formula-fed infants are not proposed in this report. The previously published RDAs and RNIs for infants

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