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, wholesomebabyfood.com, 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.