Meat is essential for infant development

Photo courtesy of the Iowa Food & Family Project

NEWS FLASH—Dietary Guidelines show that infants from birth to 2 years of age are lacking nutrients needed for proper development!

Do not worry, we will fill you in!

After concerns about the lack of nutrients in infant diets, dietary experts started to dig deep into the nutrient needs and developmental stages of children. After research, scientific rigor, and analysis of data, the recommendations from “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” have been revised.

One of the changes for baby’s diet is to include meat beginning at 6 months.

These nutrients are essential for infant development:

  • Protein: Growth development and immune function
  • Iron: Brain development and component of blood cells that deliver oxygen throughout the body
  • Zinc: Appetite regulation and immune system function
  • Vitamin D: Proper bone growth and strengthening
  • DHA: Brain and retina development
  • Fats: Rapid growth and brain development

No need to panic, moms; we have you and your little one covered!!

According to dietary experts, pork is the perfect combination of protein, iron, and zinc.

Of course, you won’t be throwing an extra Iowa Chop on the grill for your baby, but we do have some recipes that can help you provide this essential nutrition to your child. These delicious recipes can be enjoyed by your entire family while also giving your baby the nutrients essential for proper growth and development!

What is a more delicious entrée and source of nutrients for your infant than … PORK!


Follow the link for this delicious Italian Meatloaf dish pictured!!

When feeding infants this pork recipe, you have some options. Since adults may want more seasoning, simply set aside a small portion for your child, and then season the rest for everyone else. This way you can satisfy everyone on the amount of seasoning wanted!

Then prepare your baby’s portion to one of the following consistencies based on your child’s age and developmental stage.

Smooth Puree – Blended single ingredients

Babies are ready for single ingredient smooth puree around 6 months or when they can hold their head up on their own.

Lumpy Puree – Mashed

At 6–8 months, your child is ready for a mashed combination of ingredients.

Small Pieces – Shredded/chopped

Children that can pinch foods (8 months–2 years) are ready for portions of main dishes that are shredded in small portions

With these tips on how to prepare this pork dish, your entire family—including your little one—can enjoy the same dish for dinner!

Disclaimer: Consult your family physician for other dietary suggestions and questions you may have.