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Thread: Best sources of iron for a 9 month old?

  1. #1
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    Default Best sources of iron for a 9 month old?

    Hi, I'm doing baby-led weaning and am wondering what the best sources of iron are for my 9 month old. He does enjoy oatmeal (fortified with iron) that I spoon feed to him sometimes but I'd prefer something that he could feed to himself. I've tried giving him steak but he only has 2 teeth so can't do more than suck on it, plus the last time I tried it it turned his stools dark green/black for a couple of days. Not sure if that's just the broken-down blood from the steak or if it irritated his little tummy and that's why the stools looked like that, so I haven't done it again. He won't eat hamburger for some reason. He likes chicken but that has minimal iron content. He will suck on spinach or salad leaves but doesn't really eat them, given that he only has 2 teeth.

    I've read that a need for additional iron is the most pressing nutritional need that is not being met by breastmilk at this age, and the main reason why starting solids at 6 months is important, so I'm concerned about whether he's getting enough iron in his diet. Any suggestions? I know the iron in breastmilk is well absorbed but it's such a small amount, is it still enough at 9 months? My son was born full-term and healthy but had his cord clamped and cut immediately, if that makes a difference. His color is good (rosy cheeks, pink gums) and he's certainly full of energy so I don't think he's anemic now but I don't want him to become anemic either. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Best sources of iron for a 9 month old?

    Chopped up fine meat that he can pick up. And it sounds like he's fine. This isn't something I worried about with either of my girls and neither of them have ever been anemic.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Best sources of iron for a 9 month old?

    The Google might give you some more ideas of foods naturally high in iron, although the foods you listed sound like good options. I have also heard black strap molasses is high in iron.

    You could get his iron levels checked - they might not be low. This might sound weird, but when did they clamp the cord at his birth? There is recent research indicating that delayed clamping results in higher iron levels in older babies. So, if you delayed clamping (i.e. they clamped at 3 minutes post birth versus 10 second or something along those lines), you may have less to worry about. Just a thought.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Best sources of iron for a 9 month old?

    Unfortunately his cord was clamped within seconds of when he came out. He'd been having some prolonged heart rate decelerations so the first thing to do was get the NICU team to look at him, which required his cord to be cut and him to be taken away from me. Fortunately he was totally fine, with Apgars of 8 and 9, but he didn't get the benefit of delayed cord clamping. I'll try to find some recipes for black strap molasses, that's a good idea. I googled other foods high in iron as you suggested and was surprised to see egg yolks and beans/lentils are both good sources so I'll give those a try. Tracie, thanks for the suggestion of finely chopped meat, don't know why I didn't think to give it to him that way but it's a good idea, rather than a whole piece of steak to suck on.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Best sources of iron for a 9 month old?

    Also--does anyone know whether taking a prenatal with iron increases the iron in my breastmilk?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Best sources of iron for a 9 month old?

    Egg yolks - good one! A perfect BLS food
    My understanding is that iron in mom's diet will not increase iron levels in breastmilk.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Best sources of iron for a 9 month old?

    when my LO's iron levels were checked, they all tested normal.
    I did not give iron supplements nor were my LO's eating foods at 9 months of age.
    Breastmilk is not deficient in any nutrient.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Best sources of iron for a 9 month old?

    Turkey is higher in iron than chicken. If you braise beef in a slow cooker, it is really easy to shred. Lentils and beans are also high in iron and pretty easy for babies to eat. Leafy green vegetables are good too, but you typically need to eat a lot (cooked spinach tends to get more iron into you than raw spinach because the volume decreases so much during cooking). Cooking in a cast iron pan helps too.

    However if there is no family history of anemia, then you probably don't need to worry about it. My full term son has iron deficiency anemia, but I tend to be anemic too and have needed to be careful to eat iron rich foods every day since I was a very young child myself. Iron deficiency anemia usually doesn't just happen for no reason at all.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Best sources of iron for a 9 month old?

    watermelon is a great source of iron and easy to eat without teeth! and like a pp said, blackstrap molasses- added to oatmeal or baked goods.
    I'm a dreadlock wearing lucky SAHM to Sabeen Hunter (1/08/11) and wife to my sweet husband Amin.
    Love

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Best sources of iron for a 9 month old?

    Great advice from pp's

    Chicken/Turkey (the dark meat has more iron), beef... any meat really. Cook it for a really long time and then shred it with two forks.

    Beans, lentils, green veggies, sweet potato...

    Basically, I would offer balanced meals that included a variety of whole foods. Foods with fortified iron seem like a great idea, but it's much easier for our bodies to absorb iron from iron rich foods as opposed to foods with added iron, kwim?

    I think I would only be concerned if he wasn't eating solids at all. And then I would have his iron levels tested and go from there.
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

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