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I have 2 boxes of Earth's Best Organic cereals (rice and oatmeal) here...I am just afraid to give them to him! I have read bad things here about giving rice and wheat, so...? I would love to give spinach, but I read that is not a good way to get iron. He is BF, i started introducing solids a month ago, just peas, carrots, sweet potato, fruits, etc. He also gets a couple of TBS of water with his solid meals. Should I start giving him a pediatric multi and iron supp? Does anyone have any they recommend?

Also, how can I go about getting his iron tested with bypassing a regular ped? He's not vaxed, so I don't want to get into problems (Medi-Cal).

Thanks so much!
 

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This may not be a popular answer with some folks, and you did not mention if you are vegan or not, but some of the most iron rich and easily absorbable sources of iron are in meats.

I give my son minced chicken (high quality Bell and Evans air chilled). I think egg yolk also may have some iron, and my son has one hard boiled egg yolk every morning.

I have never given him rice cereal or any other "enriched" products. I use only organic, high quality whole foods and I make him three meals, fresh each day, and I always make sure he gets a protein each day.

He is also breastfed and I make sure to keep my own iron levels high, and was recently tested myself and my iron levels are great too.

Meat was one of the first things my son had when starting solids. He has never had rice cereal and only just this week started having some oat bran cereal.

And my son is also not vaxed at all, but still goes to the pedi and they will test iron levels at 9 months. Can you find a ped that will not give you grief over the vax issue?
 

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I am in the same boat as you, only my 8 1/2 month old is not into solids at all. I got a lecture from the ped since her levels were on the low end of normal. *sigh*
Oh and ask around and try to find a friendly ped that won't push the vax issue. I had to look around for a LONG time, but I finally found one. She just asks any shots this time, and I say no, and she just smiles and nods her head. So much nicer than so many peds I interviewed that told me I was going to kill my baby by not giving her those shots.
 

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We also generally steer clear of the iron-enriched cereals; not because we're avoiding grains, but I just don't like giving her super processed foods. (Oh, well, except Cheerios. She's addicted.)

We're vegetarian, and DD's ped told me at her last visit that we had to get DD on an iron supplement because "she's missing a food group."
We're changing pediatricians.

We don't give DD any supplements; I think her system is too little to handle them well, she's still getting most of her nutrition from breastmilk and is therefore probably just fine on most of her nutrient levels, AND iron in particular can have some pretty bad side effects.

There are plenty of vegetarian foods that are really good for babies that are high in iron: spinach, apricots, prunes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, brown rice. You can cook any of these and make into a puree. One of DD's favorite foods is an apricot puree that I make - I just soak dried apricots in boiling water for 1/2 hour, then puree with some of the soaking liquid to make a paste. I freeze it in single serving sizes, then just thaw it to serve. I often mix it with a scoop of my morning oatmeal and give it to her for breakfast, or mix with vegetables too.

There are other food additives that are naturally high in iron too, like prune juice, kelp powder, brewer's yeast, or molasses. You can add a tiny bit of any of those things to a bowl of baby food if you want to up the iron content. I often mix some brewer's yeast in with DD's food - especially if it's something like broccoli or squash - because it adds a nice savory flavor AND iron content.

ETA: There's a great article on iron supplementation and the breastfed baby on Kellymom - lots of excellent info. Is Iron Supplementation Necessary?
 
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