My 6-month-old daughter was EBF until last week, when we started her on a little bit of solids. She's been getting about 2 tablespoons a day of a mixture of avocado and breastmilk, and today she is trying squash pureed with breastmilk. Next week we are going to try her on egg yolks and breastmilk, and if she does OK on those, I'm planning to start pureeing a hard-boiled egg yolk into whatever food she is eating each day, for fat and iron. I will of course continue to breastfeed her on demand.
Our ped wants us to put her on cereal because it's iron-fortified. I am not 100% opposed to giving her oatmeal, but to be honest the iron recommendations seem a bit confusing and sketchy to me. I'm seeing that the requirement jumps from 0.27 mg/day 0-6 months of age, to 11 mg/day at 6 months. That's more than I need per day, and I'm 15x her size! Periodic feeding of egg yolk, breastmilk, beef stock, and even beef or lamb meat, in the amounts she is going to be getting for the next couple of months, are still not going to put her anywhere near 11 mg. The ped asked my husband what we were going to feed her for iron, if not cereal, and he got confused and said beef broth--which, granted, does not have much iron, but still, she just looked up the nutrition info on it and told him that she would have to eat hundreds of cans (or whatever) to make up the amount of iron in cereal. My issue with this is that the same would have been true of actual high-iron foods like egg yolks or meat--there is basically nothing that is going to give her 11 mg of iron a day other than iron-fortified formula and cereal, and we would have to start feeding her a lot of cereal to come up to that amount. My understanding is that she is supposed to still get quite a bit of nutrition from milk for the first year. Also, she's a bit of a slow gainer, so it seems counterproductive to fill her up on solids unless they are at least as high-calorie and fatty as breast milk.
I have read a bunch of articles on Wholesome Baby Food, Kellymom, etc. and I guess, for myself personally, I am comfortable with what we're doing and don't have any concerns about her becoming anemic. But I need a way to explain this to my ped that doesn't involve pitting egg yolks against cereal in terms of straight milligrams of iron, for example, or it's just going to look like we are misinformed and uninterested in her nutrition. (Just saying "iron from breastmilk is more absorbable" doesn't seem adequate, because if iron in formula is 4% bioavailable and iron in bm is 50% bioavailable, per the #'s I saw on Wholesome Baby Food, there's still in theory more usable iron in formula, because they put so much in.)
Any ideas? My biggest issue in dealing with medical professionals is that I more or less know what I'm talking about, and have firm ideas about what I want to do, but I sound uncertain so it tends to appear that I am poorly informed. Thanks!