I am under a lot of pressure from public health nurses to give my baby infant cereal. She is 15 months old and just started eating solids around her 1st birthday. I'd like to raise her as a vegetarian, but she won't eat any tofu, beans, greens, etc. She loves yogurt, but most other foods she chews for a while and then takes out of her mouth. I had her iron levels tested at 11 months, and they were fine, but that was 4 months ago, and I'm getting worried again. Her lower eyelids don't seem quite as red as they used to. I'm not really eager to have the test done again - it was very traumatic for her. I did give her infant cereal mixed in with the yogurt for about 3 weeks in the summer, but she became very constipated around that time, so I dropped it. The nurses say that it might have been the dairy, but she was fine before I added the cereal.... I know LLL says that infant cereal can actually inhibit the absorption of iron (do you think I've screwed her up with those 3 weeks?), but the nurses keep telling me that anemia will give her lifelong learning disabilities and neurological damage, and I feel scared that I'm not doing the right thing. Even Jack Newman says that babies need extra iron after 6-9 months. Should I give up on vegetarianism and give her organic free-range meat? What if she won't eat that either?
Are iron supplements necessary for the [I]mostly[I] breastfed one year old?