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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2017

Beef as a nutrient-rich, family food

By Hy-Vee Dietitian | Aug 24, 2017

As one of the first foods introduced to infants (starting at six months), beef provides the nutrients babies need to set the stage for successful development and lifelong health. Make sure to incorporate beef into your meals to help your family members make the most of their days and meals.

Beef has a unique mix of nutrients, including high-quality protein, iron, zinc, choline, selenium and vitamins B6 and B12, essential for growth and development in infants and children. Additionally, children need iron and zinc for their development, learning, behavior and growth. Beef is a natural source of more than 10 essential nutrients including protein, zinc and iron, which can help prevent harmful nutrient deficiencies.

Eating beef as a complementary first food supports healthy growth in infants without excess weight gain. It also supports brain health and development in little ones, with nutrients including iron and zinc, which our bodies absorb more easily from beef than from plants.

Parents worried about their children getting sick should know that foods rich in iron and zinc, including beef, support the growth of healthful bacteria in an infant’s gut, which enhances immune function.

Introducing a variety of flavors and textures, including meats like beef, encourages infants to accept the taste of healthy foods as they grow older.

To learn more about introducing solid foods to your baby (i.e. assessing when baby is ready to begin eating solid foods, avoiding choking hazards, watching for potential food allergies, how to make your own baby foods, etc.) consult with your Hy-Vee dietitian or pediatrician.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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