have led to much misinterpretation of the adequacy of human milk because of a lack of understanding about their derivation for young infants. Although they were based on human milk composition and volume of intake, the previous RDA and RNI values allowed for lower bioavailability of nutrients from nonhuman milk.
Ages 0 through 6 Months. To derive the AI value for infants ages 0 through 6 months, the mean intake of a nutrient was calculated on the basis of the average concentration of the nutrient from 2 through 6 months of lactation with use of consensus values from several reported studies (Atkinson et al., 1995), and an average volume of milk intake of 0.78 L/day as reported from studies of full-term infants by test weighing, a procedure in which the infant is weighed before and after each feeding (Butte et al., 1984; Chandra, 1984; Hofvander et al., 1982; Neville et al., 1988). Because there is variation in both of these measures, the computed value represents the mean. It is expected that infants will consume increased volumes of human milk as they grow.
Ages 7 through 12 Months. Except for iron and zinc, which have relatively high requirements, there is no evidence for markedly different nutrient needs during the period of infants’ growth acceleration and gradual weaning to a mixed diet of human milk and solid foods from ages 7 through 12 months. The basis of the AI values derived for this age category was the sum of the specific nutrient provided by 0.6 L/day of human milk, which is the average volume of milk reported from studies in this age category (Heinig et al., 1993), and that provided by the usual intakes of complementary weaning foods consumed by infants in this age category (Specker et al., 1997). This approach is in keeping with the current recommendations of the Canadian Paediatric Society (Health Canada, 1990), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP, 1997), and Nutrition During Lactation (IOM, 1991) for continued feeding of human milk to infants through 9 to 12 months of age with appropriate introduction of solid foods.
One problem encountered in trying to derive intake data in infants was the lack of available data on total nutrient intake from a combination of human milk and solid foods in the second 6 months of life. Most intake survey data do not identify the milk source, but the published values indicate that cow milk and cow milk formula were most likely consumed.