If there is one thing that I have learned through successfully transitioning three kids to solid foods, it is the importance of including iron in their diets. All three of my kids have been exclusively breastfed until beyond their first year of life, which is why I have always made feeding them iron rich cereals a priority.
Studies have shown that after the age of six months, the iron stores that your baby was born with begin to run out. From that point on, if your baby is breastfed (like mine), and they aren’t getting at least 2 servings of iron rich cereal or meat a day, they could be at risk for an iron deficiency. Over time, that lack of iron can lead to anemia, slower physical growth, delayed motor skills and learning ability, and have other serious consequences as well.
Including iron in your baby’s diet can provide a number of health benefits, which is why I have always relied on Gerber cereals to do that for my kids. In addition to being rich in iron, Gerber cereals are made with calcium for healthy bones and teeth, and they provide a nutritional blend of zinc, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and six B vitamins, thanks to their VitaBlocks for healthy growth.
- This first tip is a tough one (insert sarcasm). Head to your local Target, and after filling your cart with a whole bunch of stuff that you probably don’t need, make your way over to their baby section where you will find the Gerber cereal (we’re big fans of the single grain oatmeal). Bonus points for the fact that right now, you can save 10% off of your purchase by downloading and using the Cartwheel app.
2. Make the effort to feed your baby 2 servings of Gerber cereal daily. This will provide them with 90% of the iron that they need each day.
3. Mix Gerber cereal in with purees at home for an easy way to give them a thicker consistency and introduce your baby to new flavors and foods.
4. Try combining Gerber cereal with purees rich in vitamin C. Studies have shown that vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron. Baby friendly foods that are rich in vitamin C include: citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, and kiwi to name a few.
5. Try new recipes that include iron rich cereals, such as this nutritious smoothie recipe…
Blueberry Banana Smoothie
1/3 cup Gerber 100% Fruit Juice Pear, chilled
1 container Gerber Graduates® Yogurt Blends Mixed Berry, chilled
2 TBS Gerber Oatmeal & Banana Cereal
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 of a banana
Place all ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth.
*** for a thicker smoothie, add more cereal, for a thinner smoothie, add more juice.
Do you include Gerber cereals in your baby’s diet? How do you ensure that they are getting enough Iron? If you haven’t already tried Gerber cereal, head to Target and save 10% by using their Cartwheel app today!