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

Why is iron important in weaning?

Iron helps to support normal cognitive development. Your baby is born with a natural store of iron but when they reach six months it will start to deplete. This is because your baby is growing fast, doubling in size from birth to six months with a rapidly developing brain. To replenish this supply, babies need iron as part of their weaning diet from six months onwards. Before this stage, they will be getting all the nutrients they need from their usual milk alone.

Getting enough iron from food

Breastfeeding is best for your baby and remains an important source of nutrients during weaning. In addition to their usual milk, babies between six and 12 months should begin to eat iron-rich foods as part of a varied, balanced diet. This is the reason many weaning foods and milks are fortified with iron. Red meat and fish are useful sources. You can also introduce them to other iron-rich foods as part of a varied diet. These include fortified breakfast cereals, dark green vegetables, broad beans and lentils. However, research has shown that almost one third of babies aged 6-12 months did not meet the recommended iron intake.*

How much iron is in SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk?

Iron is one of the minerals we need to help our bodies work properly. SMA® Nutrition has been leading baby nutrition research for over 100 years. Their follow-on milk is fortified with iron.

Did you know?

  • Even after your baby is enjoying a varied, balanced diet, you should continue to breastfeed up until two years of age or beyond if you can.
  • A daily intake of 500ml of SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk provides 63% of a baby’s daily requirements of iron.
  • SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk is fortified with iron to help support normal cognitive development. It contains omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids to support normal development and growth. It also contains vitamin D and calcium to support normal growth and development of bone.

Want to know more about iron and weaning? The NHS has more information on getting the right balance of iron in your child’s diet.

* Dietary surveys have been conducted to assess the quality of infants and young children’s diets. In 2011 over 2,000 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 four-day period.

 The beneficial effect of essential fatty acids is obtained with a daily intake of 10g of Linoleic acid and 2g of a-linolenic acid.


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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