Is Your Baby Getting Enough Iron?
A recent national survey of Canadian Moms showed that 70 per cent were unaware that babies 6 to 12 months need 11 mg of iron per dayi – that’s nearly 40 per cent more than is required of a full-grown man!
The survey also reported that Canadian moms seek infant feeding information from many sources including doctors and pediatricians, online resources, baby care books, magazines and of course, friends and family.
Iron an Essential Nutrient
While moms of infants are aware that iron is an essential nutrient, there is confusion surrounding when parents should be introducing iron-rich solid foods like meat into their baby’s diet.
Health Canada released new guidelines advising parents to offer their six-month old infants meat, fish, poultry or meat alternatives two or more times a day, on a daily basisII.
Only about half of moms (55 per cent) surveyed were aware that heme iron found in meats is better absorbed than other dietary iron, or that iron deficiency anemia in infants is associated with irreversible developmental delays (51 per cent).
i National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand including Recommended Dietary Intakes. Canberra: NHMRC, Wellington: Ministry of Health, 2006.
ii Health Canada joint statements (2015). Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants: 1. Recommendations from Birth to six Months, and 2. Recommendations from Six to 24 Months.
iii Experiments suggest that adding 50 to 85 grams of meat to a meal results in a 1.5- to 4-fold increase in iron absorption (Baech 2003; Baynes and Bothwell 1990; Cook et al 1976; Engle-Stone et al 2005; Navas-Carretero 2008).
Machelle Seibel, MD
It is a real pleasure to contribute a regular article to Families Online Magazine. Over the past 30 years I've had the privilege of providing care to over 10,000 women. I've helped them face their challenges, answered their questions, and heard the frustrations they deal with as they transition from their reproductive years to and through menopause.
As a result, my goal is to share the wisdom I've gained that applies directly to women's health and menopause, or provide insights that can be of help with their families. Some articles will be on things that are ongoing health and wellnesstopics, and others will be comments or perspectives on important issues you notice in the news.
You will find my two most recent books helpful. They are Eat to Defeat Menopause and Save Your Life: What to do in a Medical Emergency.
My websites are https://www.doctorseibel.com/ & https://www.healthrockwomen.com/. There are many FREE downloads, songs, videos, eBooks and other useful content that I hope will help you stay well. My comments here aren't intended to take the place of your healthcare provider. If you have a medical problem, be sure to ask your doctor.
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