The importance of Iron for babies

Did you know your baby needs more iron between 6 & 12 months, than at any other time in their life, in proportion to their size?

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Your baby needs more iron between 6 & 12 months, than at any other time in their life, in proportion to their size.

At 6 months, all babies should be getting iron from their diet.

 

At around 6 months old, your baby’s natural iron stores start to deplete.

Iron helps support normal cognitive development.

Around 6 months old, your baby’s natural iron stores start to deplete. When your baby is born, about 75% of your little one’s iron is in their blood and about 25% is stored. As your baby grows the iron in this store is used up. This happens because your baby doubles in size from birth to 6 months and the brain grows rapidly. From 6 months onward, the requirement of iron for babies is higher so they need iron as part of their weaning diet.

Parent and child taking steps to understand the importance of iron for babies

A few steps to understanding Iron

What is Iron?

Iron is a mineral. When your baby is born, about 75% of your little one’s iron is in their blood and about 25% is stored. Babies from 6 months need iron in their diets because of their rapid growth.

What is iron good for and why is it so vital?

Iron has very important functions, especially for babies from six months as it helps support normal cognitive development.

Did you know from 6 months all babies should be getting good sources of iron from their diet?

Babies need iron and need to obtain it from iron rich foods, such as red meat, beans and pulses or milk fortified with iron. This is the reason many weaning foods and milks are fortified with iron.

Did you know around a third of babies in the UK are not getting enough iron in their diet?

Between 6-12 months the required quantity of iron for babies is more than 3x more iron than an adult, in proportion to body size. However, research has shown that almost one third of babies 6-12 months did not meet the iron recommended intakes.*

*Dietary surveys have been conducted to assess the quality of infants and young children's diets. In 2011 over 2000 infants and young children aged 4-18 months in the UK were surveyed and parents asked to record all foods and drinks given over a 4 day period.

Child drinking follow on milk from a beaker with a blue top

A bit about SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk

Follow-on milks contribute a large proportion of the iron in the diets of babies from 6-12 months***

A daily intake of 500ml of SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk fortified with iron, provides 63% of daily iron requirements*

92% of parents who trialled SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk would recommend it to their friends and family**

Inspired by the specific nutritional needs of babies, SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk is our most advanced follow-on formula yet.

  • Fortified with iron to help support normal cognitive development
  • Made using SMA® Nutrition’s Exclusive protein process^
  • Contains Omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids to support normal development and growth
  • Contains Vitamin D for the normal growth and development of bone, and vitamin D supports the normal function of the immune system
  • Available in the following formats: 800g powder; Ready to use liquid milk

***Dietary surveys have been conducted to assess the quality of infants and young children's diets. In 2011 over 2000 infants and young children aged 4-18 months in the UK were surveyed and parents asked to record all foods and drinks given over a 4 day period.
*based on 500ml SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk powder formulation per day
**Trial conducted by SMA® Nutrition among 460 parents, United Kingdom, October 2016
^Made with SMA® Nutrition's unique protein technology
The beneficial effect of essential fatty acids is obtained with a daily intake of 10g of Linoleic acid and 2 g of a-linolenic acid.

Find out more

Father and baby playing outside showing the importance of iron in a baby's diet

We’ve been researching breast milk nutrients since 1949

We have been researching breast milk nutrients for over 60 years, which is why you know we’re here to support you and your little one’s development.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The best way to feed a baby is to breastfeed, as breast milk provides the ideal balanced diet and protection against illness for your baby and also many non-nutritional benefits for both baby and mother. We recommend that you speak to your healthcare professional when deciding on your choice of feeding your baby. Professional guidance should also be sought on the preparation for and maintenance of breastfeeding. If you do choose to breastfeed, it's important to eat a healthy, balanced diet.Infant formula is intended to replace breast milk when mothers choose not to breastfeed or if for some reason they are unable to do so. A decision not to breastfeed, or to introduce partial bottle-feeding, will reduce the supply of breast milk. If for any reason you choose not to breastfeed, do remember that such a decision can be difficult to reverse. Using infant formula also has social and financial implications which must be considered. Infant formula should always be prepared, used and stored as instructed on the label, in order to avoid risks to a baby’s health. SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk is only suitable for babies over 6 months as part of a mixed diet. It should not be used as a substitute for breast milk during the first 6 months. The decision to start weaning or to use this product before 6 months, should be made only on the advice of a doctor, midwife, health visitor, public health nurse, dietitian or pharmacist, based on baby’s individual needs.

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Important advice to mothers

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. SMA® Nutrition fully supports this and continued breastfeeding, along with the introduction of complementary foods as advised by your healthcare professional.

 

 

Breast milk is best for babies and breastfeeding should continue for as long as possible. SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk is only suitable for babies over 6 months as part of a mixed diet. It should not be used as a substitute for breast milk during the first 6 months. The decision to start weaning or to use this product before 6 months, should be made only on the advice of a doctor, midwife, health visitor, public health nurse, dietitian or pharmacist, based on babies individual needs.

If you continue you will be accepting that SMA® Nutrition is supplying this information at your individual request and for educational purposes only.

 

 

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