The growth and development of babies can not be separated from the help of iron. Iron helps improve the oxygen carrying capacity of the baby’s blood and is essential for the normal functioning of the baby’s organs. Once iron deficiency occurs, the baby may develop iron deficiency anemia, irritability, slow growth, poor appetite, fatigue, and pale complexion (especially under earlobes, lips and nails).

Before birth, the mother stores a lot of extra iron for the baby’s body tissue and hemoglobin, but after birth, those “gifts” from the mother will probably be exhausted after six months without adequate iron supplementation from the diet.

When the baby’s demand for iron becomes more and more vigorous as he grows older, the mother must not ignore, is how to help the baby absorb adequate iron at different stages of growth and development, healthy growth. Here are some suggestions for mothers who are facing different stages.

0-6 months: breast milk is the best iron supplement.

Healthy full-term, exclusively breast-fed babies do not need additional iron supplements within six months of birth, except that the iron stored for the fetus during pregnancy is sufficient to support early growth and development, because the iron content in breast milk is not high, but 50-75% of the iron in breast milk can be absorbed by the baby. So mothers do not need to worry that pure breast milk will be iron deficient in 6 months.

But because of various reasons can not give the baby within six months of exclusive breastfeeding, now on the market formula milk powder can basically meet the baby’s iron demand at all stages, mothers can rest assured to feed formula milk powder to the baby. If your baby is premature, iron supplements are usually required in addition to iron intake from breast milk or iron fortified formula. A more common practice is to start two weeks after birth and supplement iron 2-4 mg daily until the child reaches the age of one year.

6 months old: -1 years old: give your baby a supplementary diet to promote iron absorption.

By the time the baby begins to add supplements at the end of six months, the mother not only needs to match the food wisely, but also needs to find the best time to give the baby different foods. Some foods can promote the baby to absorb iron, the mother might as well for the baby when preparing supplementary food more prepared.

Foods rich in vitamin C, such as fruits, increase the absorption of iron. For example, eat some oranges for your baby when you eat complementary foods, or use fresh tomatoes to mix with meat paste and so on. Foreign nutritionists believe that this diet, animal protein foods contain “meat factor” can promote the baby to absorb iron in vegetables at the same time.

In addition, the interval between breast-feeding and solid feeding should be controlled for babies who are still exclusively breast-fed. Because giving your baby solid food before or immediately after breast-feeding reduces your baby’s absorption of valuable iron in breast milk. Therefore, it takes at least 20 minutes to feed and feed solid food.

Iron is very important for the growth of babies, if the baby suffers from iron deficiency anemia because of iron deficiency, it will lead to a decrease in the baby’s immunity, but also cause physical and mental retardation. Interestingly, iron is also essential for almost all bacterial growth in the body, inhibiting iron as a “double-edged sword” to protect babies from bacterial infections only lactoferrin in breast milk. Lactoferrin can kill bacteria and reduce inflammation by “grabbing” iron ions with bacteria, which plays a key role in enhancing the immunity of babies.

1-3 years old: eat plenty of iron.

Babies over the age of 1 can easily lose enough iron in their diet because of the unreasonable structure of the diet. Babies need at least 15 mg of iron in their diet every day. These foods provide adequate iron for their babies.

Best source: red meat: beef, mutton, and whole wheat cereals.

Adequate sources: lean beef jerky, chicken, tuna, shrimp, egg yolk, spinach, asparagus, peeled roasted potatoes, soybeans, peas, dried apricots, raisins, strawberries, tomato juice, etc.

To meet daily needs: fortified rice, fortified noodles, fortified bread, bananas, avocados, citrus, apples, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, peanut butter, etc.

Iron intake can’t be observed as intuitively as breast-feeding, and may not be immediately detectable once the deficiency begins, so mothers should take this into account when matching meals three times a day at all ages of the baby. It is very important to develop a good balanced diet for your baby during his growing up. Any kind of partial and picky food may cause the baby’s inadequate intake of certain nutrients. Reasonable and balanced diet can not only help babies absorb all kinds of trace elements needed for growth from natural foods, but also help babies to enhance resistance, which is of special significance to the healthy growth of babies.


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