You have probably been hearing a lot of information about making sure your child gets adequate amounts of micronutrients every day, especially iron, for healthy growth and development. That information is spot on. But there is something else you need to know, a complementary piece of the puzzle. You want the iron your child consumes to be in a bioavailable form. Bioavailable iron means that your child’s body doesn’t just take in the iron the food provides but that his or her body absorbs a higher percentage of it. Serving iron-rich foods with foods containing vitamin C helps enhance the body’s iron absorption1,2.
As your child’s tummy can only hold so much food, the food you give should be packed with vitamins and minerals. Baby food such as CERELAC infant cereals are an option for a healthy and varied weaning diet. Bioavailable iron and other micronutrient-fortified, they help contribute to reaching your child’s daily requirements, including a whopping 50% of your child’s daily iron3 with better absorption - thanks to the vitamin C. Other additional sources of iron are red meat and green leafy vegetables.
Iron is very important for your child’s health and development. If you are concerned that your child isn’t getting enough iron, speak to your healthcare professional. He is the best person to help you make sure your child’s foundation years are everything they can be nutritionally!
1. WHO/FAO. Guidelines on food fortification on micronutrients. Edited by Allen L de Benoist B, Dary O, Hurrell R. WHO/FAO 2006
2. EFSA, 2014, Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to vitamin C and increasing non-haem iron absorption pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC No 1924/20061, EFSA, 12111, p. 3514.
3. Malaysia RNI 2005, daily iron intake for children aged 6 to 11 months. One serving of NESTLÉ CERELAC (50g) contains 5mg/serving of iron.
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