Previous University and Subject: University of Vienna, Nutritional Sciences
Thesis since: 10/2020
The Impact of Complementary Feeding on Nutrient Intake in Preterm Infants: Comparing Early Versus Late Introduction to Solid Foods
Preterm infants with a birth weight less than 1500 grams have special nutritional needs in comparison to full-term neonates. Complementary feeding in preterm infants is an unexplored field so far and data concerning the optimal timepoint for starting solid foods is missing as well as information concerning the ideal composition of complementary food (CF).
Therefore, this PhD-thesis aims to investigate the impact of different timepoints of introduction to CF on growth and nutritional intake in preterm infants. The nutritional intake is evaluated in a standardized complementary feeding setting and further compared to that of a self-determined weaning concept. Attention is drawn to nutrients that are critical in preterm infants, such as protein, iron, vitamin D, calcium, phosphor, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids and folic acid. Nutrient intake is analyzed using self-reported 24h recalls and 3-day dietary records that are calculated with a computer-based nutrient program (nut.s software). Furthermore, nutritional intake and food habits during toddlerhood are assessed observationally using food intake logbooks and food frequency questionnaires (FFQs).
As there are currently no dietary reference values for very low birth weight (VLBW)-infants during the weaning period, we aim to provide data regarding efficacy and quality of standardized and self-determined CF concepts in preterm infants.
Methods and Skills:
Cell culture; Elisa; neuralisation assay; clinical studies