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Managing your baby's iron intake

Taking care of babies’ nutritional needs can be challenging enough without the added concern of needing to address iron deficiency and anaemia at every meal.

Giovedì 19 Novembre 2015


Taking care of babies’ nutritional needs can be challenging enough without the added concern of needing to address iron deficiency and anaemia at every meal. Yet there is so much at stake. Nutritional deficiencies in infancy can affect your child’s growth and development. There can be problems over the long-term as well. Everything babies eat plays a key role in their growth, as well as their brains and immune systems developing as they should.  That’s a lot for mums to keep in mind!

While the reasons behind the deficiency can be varied – it can be diet-related, stemming from the late introduction of iron-rich foods, as well as the fact that your baby’s nutritional needs, including iron requirements, increase as he grows – it stands to reason that there are some good rules of thumb for managing your baby’s iron intake. One thing to remember is that, because they have such small tummies, they need every calorie they eat to pack a nutritional punch. A baby’s iron needs (per body weight) are 5 ½ times those of adults! This is not the time to be giving what are known as “empty calories.” They should be getting on average 30-90% of all their key micronutrients from only 25% of their energy intake, i.e. their calories. And iron should be towering above the rest.

One important rule of thumb when planning your child’s meals is to keep their foods iron-dense. Beef meat is one of the highest sources of bioavailable iron around, meaning that the body absorbs the minerals found in the beef well. 

Foods fortified with iron go a long way towards helping reduce the risk of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia. Iron-fortified foods, like CERELAC, enriched with vitamins and minerals, are an easy, tasty way to bridge the nutrition gap, supplying a whopping 50% of your baby’s daily iron* in every bowl. It’s a great way to provide the key nutrients and energy a baby needs to support healthy growth and development** in a serving small enough for his or her tiny stomach. Broccoli is good too, with 14% of baby’s daily iron catered to with each serving (100g). 

As you can see, there are lots of things you can do to ensure your baby is getting all the iron he or she needs for good health both now and well into the future.  

Iron calculator

*labeling reference value
** please state here in disclaimer or in text all the
specific health claims supporting healthy growth
and development 

Marie, 6 months pregnant :

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