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Healthy & Safety Info
Baby’s Expanding Menu
Table for three? By now, mealtimes in your house are becoming real family events, since your baby’s old enough to sample most of what you’re having for dinner, including chicken, pizza, and spaghetti, as long as it’s cut into super-small pieces and not too hot or painfully spicy. As your baby’s diet changes to include a wider variety of foods, and as she drinks less breast milk and formula, you might worry that your baby’s not getting all the nutrition she needs. In fact, some older babies do develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies, including anemia, a condition that indicates a lack of the dietary iron that produces hemoglobin.
Is It Anemia? What to Look For
Some signs of anemia include paleness, weakness, irritability, even rapid heart rate or shortness of breath. Your pediatrician will be on the lookout for anemia at well-baby checkups, so talk to her if you have any concerns about what your child’s eating and ask whether an iron supplement might be necessary. But if you’re concerned, add iron to your baby’s diet in the form of fortified cereal and pasta and naturally iron-rich foods, such as lean meats, egg yolks, and leafy green veggies. Vitamin C-rich foods, such as avocado or small amounts of diluted orange juice, which you can serve in a sippy cup now, also help baby absorb iron better.
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