breastfeeding is the preferred method of feeding for normal full-term infants for the first 4 to 6 months of life, even though most U.S. babies are no longer breastfed by age 6 months. This recommendation has been made by the Canadian Paediatric Society (Health Canada, 1990), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP, 1997), the Institute of Medicine (IOM, 1991), and many other expert groups.
In general, this report does not cover possible variations in physiological need during the first month after birth or the variations in intake of nutrients from human milk that result from differences in milk volume and nutrient concentration during early lactation.
In keeping with the decision made by the Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes, specific DRIs to meet the needs of formula-fed infants have not been proposed in this report. The use of formula introduces a large number of complex issues, one of which is the bioavailability of different forms of the nutrient in different formula types. However, in the section “Special Considerations,” issues related to bioavailability and use of different milk sources are discussed when appropriate.
To derive the AI value for infants ages 0 through 6 months, the mean intake of a nutrient was calculated based on (1) the average concentration of the nutrient from 2 to 6 months of lactation using consensus values from several reported studies, if possible, and (2) an average volume of milk intake of 780 mL/day. This volume was reported from studies that used test weighing of full-term infants. In this procedure, the infant is weighed before and after each feeding (Allen et al., 1991; Butte et al., 1984; Chandra, 1984; Hofvander et al., 1982; Neville et al., 1988). Because there is variation in both the composition of milk and the volume consumed, the computed value represents the mean. It is expected that infants will consume increased volumes of human milk during growth spurts.
During the period of infant growth and gradual weaning to a mixed diet of human milk and solid foods from ages 7 through 12 months, there is no evidence for markedly different nutrient needs. The basis of the AI values derived for this age category could be the sum of (1) the specific nutrient provided by 600 mL/day of human