Energy is required by each individual’s body to sustain functions including respiration, circulation, physical work, metabolism, and protein synthesis. In children, energy is also needed for overall growth. Energy needs depend on intake and expenditure. Energy requirements and expenditure are affected by age, gender, body composition, and physical activity levels. Health conditions can also affect energy requirements; this is often seen in children with special health care needs.
While most infants are able to support their growth by drinking breast milk or standard infant formula, some require extra support due to individual feeding issues and/or special health care needs. This edition of Nutrition Focus will review indications for use of calorically dense breast milk and/or infant formula and discuss how to formulate a fortification recipe that is appropriate and safe for use in young infants.