Red meat, fortified milk stops anaemia in toddlers
Increasing red meat or fortified milk intake can combat falling iron levels in toddlers, a common problem experienced by one in three babies.
Increased amount of iron is needed by toddlers in their second year as a deficit can cause anaemia.
If severe enough at this age, it can delay brain development and even result in behavioural problems and impaired cognitive function.
Not much research has been done into toddler nutrition and iron levels, but Anne-Louise Heath, nutritionist, and Ewa Szymlek-Gay, University of Otago, wanted to test whether food-based strategies such as increasing red meat or fortified milk intake could combat the problem.
They found that toddlers fed fortified milk or red meat increased their iron stores, suggesting that either approach is likely to prevent a decline.
Since both paths have their pros and cons, the researchers want to further investigate whether a combined approach might offer improvements in iron status.
These findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.