Iron Is Very Important For Babies, How Much Is It Needed? - OCSEHAT

Iron Is Very Important For Babies, How Much Is It Needed?


When you see a baby growing with a normal body weight, this certainly makes the mother happy. Baby food intake must be maintained so that the baby's weight always rises. At the beginning of a baby's life, breastmilk alone can already fulfill his nutritional needs and make his weight continue to rise in the normal range. However, when the baby is older - stepping on the age of 6 months -, breastmilk alone cannot meet the nutritional needs of the baby, especially iron. Well, if there is an iron deficiency in the baby, what is the impact? How important is it to meet your baby's iron needs?

Baby iron needs

Newborns actually still have iron stores that originate from their mothers during the final trimester of pregnancy, which is around 250-300 mg or about 75 mg per kg of baby's body weight.

According to research, iron stores in the baby's body can meet the baby's iron needs at least until the baby is 6 months old. So do not have to worry about the baby's iron needs early in life is not enough.

In addition, breast milk which is the baby's main food can also help meet the baby's iron needs. Although the iron content in breast milk is very small, iron in breast milk can be absorbed more by babies than other sources of iron and formula milk. As much as 50-70% of iron in breast milk can be absorbed by the baby's body.

However, along with the development and growth of the baby, the baby's nutritional needs also increase. If seen in the 2013 Nutrition Adequacy (AKG) table set by the Ministry of Health, the iron requirement for infants aged 7-11 months is 7 mg per day.

This need is certainly not enough for breastfeeding because the iron content in breast milk is very small. This is one reason why babies aged 6 months and over must receive solid food.

Impact of iron deficiency for babies

If your baby is deficient in iron, the signs are:


  • Baby's weight increases slowly
  • Pale baby skin
  • Babies do not have appetite
  • Babies are often fussy
  • Babies become less active
  • Baby's development is slow

Therefore, it is important for you to meet your baby's iron needs, especially if the baby is not exclusively breastfed. If your baby is under 6 months old and is not exclusively breastfed, you can give him formula milk enriched with iron. Whereas, for babies over 6 months, you can give them foods high in iron in addition to breast milk and / or formula milk.

Some foods with high iron content are:


  • Beef
  • Chicken's liver
  • Beef liver
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Fish
  • Egg
  • Iron-fortified cereals

In addition to high-iron foods, you can also provide foods high in vitamin C. Vitamin C can help your body absorb iron better. Some foods that contain vitamin C are recommended are oranges, tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries.

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