Total water intake and its contributors in infants and young children

Jean Pierre Chouraqui, Simon N. Thornton, Louise Seconda, Stavros A. Kavouras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Hydration is a particular concern for infants and young children due to their greater risk of dehydration. However, studies on their water intakes are scarce. The current survey aimed to analyse total water intake (TWI) in non-breastfed children aged 0·5-35 months compared with the adequate intake (AI) for the same age group set by the European Food Safety Authority and to examine the different contributors to TWI as well as beverage consumption patterns. Nationally representative data from the Nutri-Bébé cross-sectional survey were used to assess food, beverage and plain water consumption by age group over three non-consecutive days. With age, median TWI in 1035 children increased from 732 to 1010 ml/d, without differences between sexes, but with a great inter-individual variation, and the percentage of children who did not meet the AI increased from 10 to 88 %. Median weight-related TWI decreased from 136·6 to 69·0 ml/kg per d. Among infants, 90 % had a ratio of water:energy below the AI, similarly for about 75 % of toddlers. Milk and milk products were the main contributors to TWI, while the part of plain water increased gradually to be 25 % in the older toddlers, half of which was tap water. The beverage consumption pattern varied in types and timing, with little consumption of juices and sweetened beverages. Vegetables and fruits accounted for 20 % of TWI after the age of 6 months. These initial results, showing strong discrepancies between actual and recommended water intakes in young children, should help identify ways to increase children's water consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-541
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 14 2022


  • Beverage consumption
  • Food moisture
  • Infants
  • Water intake
  • Young children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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