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Infant Foods Containing Docosahexaenoic Acid


Nutrition Services Division

To: Child Nutrition Program Sponsors

Number: 03-109,  03-204,  03-702

Attention: Food Program Director

Date: March 2003

Subject: Commercially Prepared Infant Foods Containing Docosahexaenoic Acid

Reference: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child Nutrition Programs Informational Memo 03-06

This Management Bulletin provides guidance on the use of commercially prepared infant foods containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in Child Nutrition Programs. This omega-3 fatty acid is added to some commercially prepared infant fruits and vegetables, but not a lot is known about what benefits these additives may have. Infant foods containing DHA are not creditable as part of a reimbursable infant meal in Child Nutrition Programs.

Some brands of infant foods, such as Beech-Nut First Advantage Sweet Potato Soufflé or Tropical Blend, contain DHA derived from egg yolk. These products combine fruits or vegetables with dried egg yolk, heavy cream, rice flour, vanilla extract, and other ingredients. Although these products are not labeled or marketed as desserts, they contain similar ingredients that may result in a food sensitivity or food allergy when served to infants younger than 8 months of age.

Although commercially prepared infant foods containing DHA are not creditable in the infant meal pattern, child care providers may serve them as additional foods for infants who are older than 8 months of age. Since they contain ingredients, additives, or extenders that could result in food sensitivities or allergies, the United States Department of Agriculture recommends that child care providers consult with the infant's parent or guardian before serving these products.

Please share the information provided in this Management Bulletin with appropriate management and staff.

Questions: Kelley Knapp | kknapp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-6774 
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