TABLE 5-2 Comparison of Nutrient Reference Values for Infants Ages 7 through 12 Months


1968 RDA

1989 RDA




15 mg

10 mg

6.9 mg




5 mg

2.5 mg



600 mg

600 mg


270 mg (human milk-fed)

335 mg (formula-fed)


70 mg

60 mg


75 mg

Vitamin A

~375 μg RAE

375 μg RAE


500 μg RAE

Vitamin D

10 μg

10 μg


5 μg

Vitamin C

35 mg

35 mg


50 mg


16 g

18 g

9.9 g


NOTE: RDA = Recommended Dietary Allowance, EAR = Estimated Average Requirement, AI = Adequate Intake, N/A = not applicable, RAE = retinol activity equivalents.

SOURCE: IOM (1997, 2000b, 2001, 2002a); NRC (1968, 1989b).

tables of AI values, the DRI text (IOM, 1997) includes different values for formula-fed infants. This is due to the presumed lower bioavailability of calcium in infant formulas relative to human milk.

For infants, as for toddlers, the committee recommends that EARs be used as the basis for DVs for nutrition labeling and that the AIs be used when no EARs have been set. The DRIs include two age groups for infants less than 1 year of age, but no separate values based on gender. Only three nutrients have EARs for infants (protein, iron and zinc), and these were set for the 7- through 12-month life stage group. While there in no need for population weighting of the EAR values for infants because they were set for this single life stage group, the AIs for many of the nutrients differ for the two infant age groups. Values for infants ages 7 through 12 months of age serve as the basis for formula and food labeling. The committee recommends that the infant food label continue to be used and to only represent the needs of 7- through 12-month-old infants. During the first 6 months of life, virtually all nutrition is supplied by human milk or infant formulas, and infant formulas are labeled based on the Infant Formula Act and its regulations (21 C.F.R. 107.100).

Although AIs are used as the basis for many of the infant DVs, it should be noted that the AIs reflect the intake from the whole diet and are not limited to intake from solid food. The committee therefore encourages continuing educational efforts to ensure that parents understand that human milk or infant formula should be the principal source of most nutrients throughout the first year of life.

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