Getting enough iron — The Bump
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Getting enough iron

DD is 6 months and at her check up I told the doctor we had started some solids (peas and carrots). He said that's great, but to really start with cereal as its fortified with iron which EBF babies need. I was really hoping to skip cereals all together based on my experiences with DS (he barely ate cereal and it seemed like a waste), but if I must for the iron, I will. Are there alternatives for iron enrichment, or is cereal the best way to go? If I do cereal, could I mix it with the veggies instead of water or expressed milk?

Re: Getting enough iron

  • We skipped cereals too.  I know some people recommend baby oatmeal if you're going to skip cereals but we ended up just focusing on iron-rich foods (i.e. sweet potato, greens, etc) and LO's levels came out great at his 9month check up.  There's an ok list a third of the way down this kellymom page http://kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/iron/ but pay attention to the warning right under the list as some of the foods are pretty inappropriate for babies.  
    jnnfrrose6
  • i would just start with meat, honestly. it's nutritionally dense and palatable. if you're going the BLW route, you can give your LO strips of poached dark-meat chicken, or lightly seasoned ground beef or turkey. or puree these if you would prefer spoon-feeding.

    if you do give cereal, you can absolutely mix it with expressed BM. you can add raisins and blackstrap molasses as well; both are good sources of iron.
    jnnfrrose6RachelCA29[Deleted User]
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  • vvvvvfee said:
    i would just start with meat, honestly. it's nutritionally dense and palatable. if you're going the BLW route, you can give your LO strips of poached dark-meat chicken, or lightly seasoned ground beef or turkey. or puree these if you would prefer spoon-feeding.

    if you do give cereal, you can absolutely mix it with expressed BM. you can add raisins and blackstrap molasses as well; both are good sources of iron.

    The only reason we aren't doing BLW is because of daycare. It's not something they'll do with the littlest ones, so I've got to send in baby foods. I am doing it more so at home, though. The pedi wanted to hold off on meats for a few more months (he gave DS the ok on meat at 9 months) and work our way up to it, though I could probably push that schedule a bit. I know I can mix cereal with expressed BM, but I tend to produce just enough for the bottles I need for daycare, so I'm hesitant to dip into my supply, but as with everything else, if it's what I need to do, I will.

    I really appreciate all of the suggestions. It's definitely given me some things to look into and think about.
  • the latest recommendations (from both the American Academy of Pediatrics and Health Canada) say iron-rich foods should be the priority when first offering solids, not cereals. rice cereal is low in protein and high in carbs, and the iron in it is poorly absorbed. the AAP also no longer recommends waiting to introduce potentially allergenic foods.

    more info:
    http://www.internalmedicinenews.com/fileadmin/content_pdf/ped/archive_pdf/vol43iss11/70296_main.pdf

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2012/09/24/hold_the_pablum_give_that_baby_some_meat_new_canadian_guidelines_advise.html

    we did BLW at home, but we sent "compromise" food to daycare with DS when he was first starting solids- things like yogurt mixed with applesauce, steel-cut oatmeal with raisins, and softer fruits like bananas. then at home we let him experiment with all kinds of new foods and make a huge mess. ;)
    jnnfrrose6[Deleted User]flcl[Deleted User]
  • mshukhmshukh
    500 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments First Answer
    member
    edited December 2014
    Interestingly enough, I recently read an article that explores the topic of iron needs in infants. The theory raised was that iron stores drop off in breastmilk in order to prevent pathogens in babies. Very interesting read and made sense to me. After all, I always argue that nature knows best. 

    Additionally, the iron in breast milk is some of the most bioavailable. Much better than rice cereal. There are charts out there to show this. 


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    vvvvvfee[Deleted User]
  • edited December 2014
    Meat. Dark chicken meat, veal, dark turkey meat. Start it as soon as you have a veg you can mix it with. Alone it's nasty. We never did cereal either. Or at least not as first food OR main source of iron. Our ped said to feed meat starting at 6m.
    jnnfrrose6
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