Nutrient Profile of Household Food Supplies of Families with Young Children

Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Jaclyn Maurer Abbot, Ellen Cussler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Currently, little is known about the home food environment. This cross-sectional study was designed to describe the food sources of calories and key nutrients in the households of 100 families with at least one child aged 12 years or younger and compare nutrient availability to recommended levels. Participating households were food secure, ate dinner at home at least three times weekly, had parents who were married or living as domestic partners and not employed in a health-related profession, and resided in New Jersey. Researchers visited each household once during 2006/2007 to inventory all foods except alcoholic beverages, commercial baby food, infant formula, pet foods, refrigerated leftovers, foods of minimal nutrient and calorie content, condiments typically consumed in small quantities per eating occasion, and bulk supplies of staples. Inventories were taken using commercial diet analysis software customized to use barcode scanners for foods with standard barcodes and keyword searches for foods lacking barcodes. Protein, carbohydrate, and fat in the households supplied an average of approximately 15%, 57%, and 29% of calories, respectively. Saturated fat and total sugar accounted for an average of approximately 10% and 20%, respectively, of calories. Mean nutrient adequacy ratio for nutrients recommended to be maximized (ie, vitamins A and C, protein, dietary fiber, iron, calcium) was less than optimal, and mean ratio for those recommended to be minimized (ie, total fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar) exceeded recommendations. Categorization by food group revealed that the greatest availability of calories, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, total sugar, sodium, and iron was from grains. The greatest availability of total fat, cholesterol, and protein was from meat/protein foods. Dairy products contained the greatest quantities of saturated fat and calcium. This study expands the limited research on the home food supply and provides insights that may have important implications for health-promotion interventions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2057-2062
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Nutrient Profile of Household Food Supplies of Families with Young Children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this