Thursday, May 14, 2009

Infant Cereal & Iron: in case you were curious

In Gwen's most recent newsletter, I mentioned that we still feed her iron-fortified infant cereal. In fact, the recommendations are that we continue to do so until 18-24 months, and this annoys me because I think the cereal is mushy and disgusting and it's one of the few things that I still have to feed Gwen instead of letting her fingerfeed herself (what with being mush and all). Amber commented on this, suggesting that the recommendations may be coming from the cereal companies themselves, and that it all might be a bit bogus. I, being cynical, agreed, and decided to do a wee bit of research.

I went to a site I trust,, which is a non-commercial site packed full of information on all aspects of baby (and toddler) feeding. Sure enough, I found a whole page dedicated to the issue of iron and infant cereal. Unfortunately, it seems you need a degree in biology and nutrition to understand what the HELL they are talking about.

The conclusion I reached is that Gwen can definitely get 100% of her daily iron intake through other food sources. But I would have to measure all those sources, and then compare them to a list to see how much iron she was getting, and make sure she was eating ALL the food I gave her, and also ensure that she got foods containing Vitamin C at the same time, because that would help with her iron absorption, so again, I'd have to look at a list of food to see which ones had Vitamin C, and then combine those with the iron-rich foods.

OR I could spend 5 minutes twice a day shovelling mushy infant cereal into her cryhole.

Looks like Heinz is going to keep making money off us for a few months yet.


Rachael Young said...

We hide it in Ira's other foods. Throw it in with soup, mix it in with yogurt shakes, and stir it into apple sauce. Adding cinnamon also makes it more popular!

I can't taste it in the foods, and with runny foods it acts like a binding agent and makes them easier to shovel in.

Amberism said...

This makes me feel better about the no cereal thing over here (thanks for showing me the link!). I'm confident now that she's getting enough iron and vit. C. Although I wish I had thought of Knitternaut's idea when Claire first refused to eat it.

...Callum, on the other hand is a whole other story...

speaking of Callum, I'm positive he's got some serious cavities going on with a couple of his teeth (haven't been able to really get in there in a while to take a hard look). That should be fun. ~sigh~. So much to think about with these little beings every day!

Jen said...

We haven't been using infant cereal since January. It makes Anderson so miserably constipated, he can't handle it. He eats lots of veggies and fruits (devoured the pork tenderloin tonight!). I've not been too worried about it.

Anonymous said...

oops. I quit feeding cereal pretty early with the third - he HAD to feed himself. All finger foods... But I am happy 'cause with all of them I would slip cereal in with plain yogurt and applesauce. Yum. I also have liquid iron supplements that I throw into smoothies (along with flax oil and pureed veggies. And anything else. Fussy kids). We have become a smoothie family. Keeps 'em alive.

I got all mad at Heinz anyways and refused to buy their products *grin* I can't seem to do anything the easy way.

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