Iron is important for both the mother’s health during pregnancy, and for the developing fetus. During pregnancy, women require 2 to 3 times more iron (27mg/day)1 than normal. To prevent deficiency and meet this critical need, it is necessary to eat a variety of iron-rich foods each day.2 Although a daily iron supplement of 16 to 20mg is recommended during pregnancy to help meet this increased need, a 100g serving of beef provides 3.34mg, 12% of the pregnancy requirement.1, 2 Beef is an important food choice to for a healthy pregnancy!
Consequences of iron deficiency and anaemia during pregnancy include postnatal depression, fatigue, difficulties with bonding and breastfeeding, and increased risk of infection. Women deficient in iron may also struggle to cope with normal blood loss at delivery.Ensuring adequate iron in pregnancy can also assist with successful breastfeeding.
And once a baby is born, their natural iron stores can keep them going until about six months of age. Did you know that Health Canada now advises that first solid foods for infants be iron-rich? By about 6 months of age, your baby should be served iron-rich foods like beef daily. Why? Your baby needs iron for optimal brain development and growth. Beef is one of nature’s best sources of iron.
Tips for introducing solid foods:
- To ensure your baby is tolerating new foods, wait two to three days before introducing a next new food.
- Help your baby learn to eat foods with different tastes and textures. He/she may only require puréed foods for a very short time, or not at all.
- Your baby should progress from soft mashed or minced foods quickly and then onto soft foods that are chopped into small chunks or pieces.