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Was it as a result of we stopped iron-fortified method? No. We had switched to cow’s milk on her 1st birthday (March 7, 2019) however not more than 16 ozper day (an excessive amount of milk can enhance anemia threat because it displaces different iron containing meals). Her precise 12-month examine was March 20, 2019 – so about 2 weeks after making the swap from half-breastmilk/half-formula to cow’s milk. However the halflife of hemoglobin is 120 days, so the low hemoglobin ranges couldn’t be attributed to the lack of iron-fortified method so not too long ago in her diet.

What was I alleged to do? Our pediatrician suggest iron drops after which scheduled Hannah to return in a single month to have iron re-checked (at 13 months of age). We determined not do to the iron drops and as an alternative to deal with growing iron from meals over the following month.

I’ve an excellent relationship with my pediatrician and we had a speak about my choice to not do iron drops. My major concern was constipation from supplemental iron.  As many infants do with the transition to stable meals, Hannah had some extent of constipation and I didn’t need to exacerbate that with iron drops. I didn’t need the drops to probably trigger extra constipation, leading to decreased meals consumption and making the entire iron consumption state of affairs worse. 

Moreover, as a Registered Dietitian who teaches toddler feeding and baby-led weaning for my job, I needed to make sure that I may “repair” Hannah’s iron with meals if I’m recommending a food-first philosophy to my college students, followers and clients. Please observe Hannah was not at excessive threat for IDA. She was not malnourished, didn’t have low birthweight, didn’t have dietary threat components or different signs of IDA. Given my skilled background and experience in vitamin, I felt assured that foregoing iron drops for one month and attempting meals as an alternative wouldn’t trigger undue hurt.

So we went dwelling and I put collectively a one-month child boot camp meal plan for iron.

Excessive Iron Child Boot Camp

For the following month we targeted on iron in meals for Hannah in an effort to get her iron ranges up. Once more, the halflife of hemoglobin is 120 days, so one month in all probability wasn’t going to make the entire distinction. Moreover, there’s the fact that point-of-care measurements of hemoglobin – such because the one used within the pediatrician workplace – have solely truthful accuracy in figuring out IDA (optimistic predictive worth 10-40% at 12 months of age).

So I didn’t need to hold an excessive amount of significance on two back-to-back in-office low hemoglobin readings at her 12 month examine.

Nevertheless it wasn’t a nasty thought to double down on iron consumption and iron absorption. Listed below are among the issues we did with Hannah over that subsequent month:

  • Served excessive iron meals first – as a specialist in BLW, I don’t normally suggest dripping meals. Dripping is placing one meals or a part of the meal out first, ready till child eats after which providing extra meals. I usually portion and plate the entire meal, serve to child, permit child to self-feed. This helps child study to tempo, regulate and reply to starvation and fullness cues. However I did know that Hannah would at all times select carbs after which fruit or vegetable and at last meat first. So we began simply serving her meat first, ready till she ate it after which providing the rest of the meals

  • Serving an animal meals at each meal – we eat some, however not a ton of meat in our household. The iron in animal meals is extra properly absorbed by the physique than plant meals iron is. I made an effort to supply at the least 1mg iron from animal meals at each meal. Our household eats the identical meals because the infants, so for this explicit month I made meat extra usually: chili, meatballs, meat lasagna, kofta, sluggish cooker pork and lamb, darkish meat hen (extra iron in darkish meats) and plenty and many egg yolks.

  • Serving a vitamin C meals at each meal – vitamin C helps the physique take in iron from different sources. At each meal we had at the least one fruit or vegetable. Vegetables and fruit comprise vitamin C. Some are increased than others – citrus, tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes and bell peppers are among the many highest.

  • Minimizing milk – At 12 months of age Hannah was ingesting about 15-16 ozfull fats (entire milk) cow’s milk out of an open cup. We use the Tiny Cup from ezpzfun.com (10% off with code KATIE10). That cup is 2 oz. After every meal, I might fill her cup up with milk 2-Three instances, Three instances a day for round 15-16 oztotal milk. I solely provided milk after meals so she would eat meals first. Infants who’re stuffed with milk are much less inclined to eat meals at mealtime.