The importance of Iron for babies
Did you know your baby needs more iron between 6 & 12 months, than at any other time in their life, in proportion to their size?
At a glance
Your baby needs more iron between 6 & 12 months, than at any other time in their life, in proportion to their size.
At 6 months, all babies should be getting iron from their diet.
At around 6 months old, your baby’s natural iron stores start to deplete.
Iron helps support normal cognitive development.
Around 6 months old, your baby’s natural iron stores start to deplete. When your baby is born, about 75% of your little one’s iron is in their blood and about 25% is stored. As your baby grows the iron in this store is used up. This happens because your baby doubles in size from birth to 6 months and the brain grows rapidly. From 6 months onward, the requirement of iron for babies is higher so they need iron as part of their weaning diet.
A few steps to understanding Iron
What is Iron?
Iron is a mineral. When your baby is born, about 75% of your little one’s iron is in their blood and about 25% is stored. Babies from 6 months need iron in their diets because of their rapid growth.
What is iron good for and why is it so vital?
Iron has very important functions, especially for babies from six months as it helps support normal cognitive development.
Did you know from 6 months all babies should be getting good sources of iron from their diet?
Babies need iron and need to obtain it from iron rich foods, such as red meat, beans and pulses or milk fortified with iron. This is the reason many weaning foods and milks are fortified with iron.
Did you know approximately one in four babies in Ireland are not getting enough iron in their diet?
Between 6-12 months the required quantity of iron for babies is more than 3x more iron than an adult, in proportion to body size. However, studies have shown that 23% of babies did not meet the recommended intakes by the age of 1.*
*The National Pre-school nutrition Survey Summary report (2012) surveyed 500 infants between 1-4 years inclusive and found 23% had inadequate iron intakes that fell below the recommended requirement by the time they reached 1. (NPNS, 2012).
A bit about SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk
SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk is tailored for babies from 6 months as part of a varied weaning diet. Follow-on milks contribute a large proportion of the iron in the diets of babies from 6-12 months***. A daily intake of 500 ml of SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk fortified with iron provides 56% of daily iron requirements**.
We have been leading research in baby nutrition for over 100 years and have produced SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk, expertly developed with nature in mind to help support babies’ unique nutritional needs. SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk is enriched with iron to help support normal cognitive development in baby’s brain. Inspired by our research into natures wonderful nutrients SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk now also contains 2’FL which is structurally identical to the most abundant oligosaccharide found in breast milk.
Enriched with iron to help support normal cognitive development in baby’s brain.
Contains vitamins A, C & D to help support the normal function of baby’s immune system.
Contains vitamin D and calcium to support the normal growth and development of bones. Omega 3 & 6† and iodine to help support normal growth.
***Dietary surveys have been conducted to assess the quality of infants and young children's diets. In 2011 over 2000 infants and young children aged 4-18 months in the UK were surveyed and parents asked to record all foods and drinks given over a 4 day period.
**based on 500 ml SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk powder formulation per day.
†The beneficial effect of essential fatty acids is obtained with a daily intake of 10 g of Linoleic acid and 2 g of a-linolenic acid.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The best way to feed a baby is to breastfeed, as breast milk provides the ideal balanced diet and protection against illness for your baby and also many non-nutritional benefits for both baby and mother. We recommend that you speak to your healthcare professional when deciding on your choice of feeding your baby. Professional guidance should also be sought on the preparation for and maintenance of breastfeeding. If you do choose to breastfeed, it's important to eat a healthy, balanced diet.Infant formula is intended to replace breast milk when mothers choose not to breastfeed or if for some reason they are unable to do so. A decision not to breastfeed, or to introduce partial bottle-feeding, will reduce the supply of breast milk. If for any reason you choose not to breastfeed, do remember that such a decision can be difficult to reverse. Using infant formula also has social and financial implications which must be considered. Infant formula should always be prepared, used and stored as instructed on the label, in order to avoid risks to a baby’s health. SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk is only suitable for babies over 6 months as part of a mixed diet. It should not be used as a substitute for breast milk during the first 6 months. The decision to start weaning or to use this product before 6 months, should be made only on the advice of a doctor, midwife, health visitor, public health nurse, dietitian or pharmacist, based on baby’s individual needs.