Do Babies Get Adequate Iron From Mothers’ Milk?

by Paul White Dietician

Iron is a vital nutrient for the growth and development of small babies. It carries oxygen around an infant’s body and helps to build their immune system. Without the optimum amount of iron, the child may suffer from several kinds of diseases.

Undoubtedly, breastfeeding is best for infants for many reasons. However, it does not contain sufficient iron to serve the baby’s growing demand. According to the research, breast milk contains only 0.4 milligrams/ litre of iron, which is not enough for infants older than four months. This is because, at this age, the iron stored in infants during pregnancy is almost used up. Hence, to prevent your little one from iron deficiency in growing years, it is necessary to feed them iron alternatives in addition to breastfeeding. It is suggested to give fortified iron cereals and liquid iron supplements as soon as the baby turns six months.

It is important to note that the amount of supplements that should be given to the baby entirely depends on the quantity of breast milk they get every day? Hence, it is vital to concern pediatrician’s before starting feeding iron substitutes to infants.

Let us have a look at the iron needs of infants and toddlers.

  • Infants of 6 months age need at least 0.27 mg iron per day.
  • Babies between 7 months to 1 year age require 11 mg iron a day for optimum physical and neurological growth.
  • Kids between the ages of 1 to 3 years should devour at least 7 mg of iron per day.

Once your baby starts eating food appropriately, you can discontinue the iron supplementation. We have crafted a list of 6 foods that accomplish a baby’s increasing iron needs in this article. Have a look

Nonheme Sources Of Iron

Non Heme iron is found in vegan foods and is pretty hard to absorb. It is present in plants, fortified cereals etc. Here are the most popular sources of nonheme iron that you can feed to your baby.

  • Iron-fortified cereals

Iron-fortified cereals contain high iron content and are excellent for overcoming iron deficiency in infants. When extra iron and vitamins are added to basic grains like oatmeal, quinoa, wheat, etc., they are known as fortified cereals. It would be great to give your little one these foods by mixing with milk one or two times a day.

  • Tofu

Another popular source of heme iron is Tofu and can be given to babies as soon as they get ready to consume solids. Apart from iron, it also contains protein that helps to build strong muscles. If you don’t like its taste, mix it with other dishes. However, excessive amounts of Tofu can lead to gastrointestinal problems. So, don’t give more than two servings of Tofu to infants.

  • Beans

Lentils, beans and legumes also contain optimum amounts of iron. Therefore, a very small portion (a half tablespoon) of beans can be added to little ones’ diet to prevent anaemia.

  • Leafy vegetables

Green leafy veggies are full of iron, magnesium, antioxidants, and many other nutrients. Therefore, it is pivotal to feed your baby spinach, cabbage, collard green, etc.

Heme-Sources Of iron

  • Red meat

Red meat like beef, pork, goat etc., should also be introduced to baby’s daily meals to boost their iron levels. Rember, it is pretty tough for a baby’s digestive system to digest meat. So, you have to cut the meat into small pieces, cook and mash properly before feeding your infant.

  • Fish

Like meat, some fishes such as Tuna are full of iron. Therefore, don’t hesitate to offer fish to your little one.

  • Chicken & Turkey

As per the pediatrician, Chicken and Turkey are also very beneficial in maintaining a baby’s iron levels.

  • Eggs

Eggs are easy to cook as well as digest. In addition, they contain calories, good fat, iron, zinc and many other nutrients essential for infants’ growth.

In Final Words-:

Hope you find the above information helpful. Mother milk solely cannot meet the iron demands of infants. Therefore, it is necessary to feed iron supplements as well as iron-rich food to babies after they get older than four months.



Originally published at on October 22, 2021.

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About Paul White Innovator   Dietician

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Joined APSense since, June 16th, 2021, From New York, United States.

Created on Oct 27th 2021 05:51. Viewed 131 times.


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