Iron-Rich Foods for Babies in their First Year

When your baby is ready for new food other than breast milk, start introducing iron-rich foods. These foods are essential to prevent Anemia, which can affect growth and brain development.

Iron-rich foods include:

  • beef, pork, lamb, veal
  • Iron-fortified infant cereal. Choose a single-grain cereal like rice cereal, before starting mixed cereals.
  • chicken, turkey
  • fish
  • tofu
  • beans and other legumes
  • eggs

Shred or minced meat and cooked beans, lentils and eggs cut into very small pieces. Meat and poultry can sometimes be too dry for babies. Mix them with water, breast milk, or mashed vegetables to make sure they are moist enough for your baby to chew. Fish is another great choice because it’s tender and easy to chew, but be sure to remove any bones.

When you give a non-meat source of iron, make sure you give a vitamin C rich food. This will help your baby to absorb more iron. 

Vitamin C rich foods:

  • red, yellow, and green peppers
  • papaya
  • kiwi fruit
  • oranges
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • strawberries
  • grapefruit
  • snow peas
  • orange and grapefruit juices
  • fruit juices with vitamin C added

Once your baby is nine months old and starts eating iron-rich foods every day, start offering sips of homo (3.25%) milk. This way you’ll  increase the amount of iron to about two cups a day. But don’t overdo it – Too much cow’s milk may lead to iron deficiency.

Food Safety:
To reduce the risk of food poisoning, cook meat, fish, and poultry fully. To do so, Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.

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