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Every Bite Counts This World Iron Awareness Week

Next week is World Iron Awareness Week – a week dedicated to bringing much needed attention to iron deficiency – the world’s most prevalent nutrient deficiency. Now in its seventh year, 2020’s World Iron Awareness Week will focus on babies and toddlers in particular, whilst also sharing relevant information for all vulnerable groups including women, and providing practical information on the importance of healthy iron levels for everyone.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Head of Nutrition, Fiona Windle, said reducing the risk of iron deficiency, particularly in young children, could reap huge benefits not only in their physical health, but in their brain development and cognitive abilities as well. In this rapid phase of growth where a baby’s birthweight triples in its first year, at 7-12 months, a baby needs even more iron than their dad.

“I am a mum of two myself, so I know the struggles of having fussy eaters particularly in the toddler phase. Making sure you cook something that tempts their taste buds whilst ticking all the nutritional boxes can be a challenge. I also know getting as much nutritious goodness into them can make such a difference to their energy and immunity – it really is ‘every bite counts’.

“If there’s one thing I hope people can take away from this year’s World Iron Awareness Week is that you can make some easy tweaks to your meals to get the most nutrition out of them. It can be as simple as adding vitamin C-rich foods like fruits and veges to a meal to aid iron absorption.”

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In the lead up to World Iron Awareness Week, people are encouraged to visit – a website dedicated to everything iron related. You can access information, infographics to share on social media, resources and some delicious iron-rich recipes using New Zealand beef, lamb, pork, venison and vegetables. There are tips on how to maximise iron absorption and the signs of iron deficiency and what you can do about it.

There will even be a dedicated iron week competition aimed at parents and caregivers of babies and toddlers, to find New Zealand’s ‘grubbiest bubby’ – a bit of a fun way to look at the messy business of ensuring ‘every bite counts’ when feeding young ones.

World Iron Awareness Week is supported by the following organisations; Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Dietitians NZ, Massey University, NZ Blood, NZ Nutrition Foundation, New Zealand Pork, NZ Venison, Nutrition Society of New Zealand, Sprout, The Asian Network Incorporated, The New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology, Toi Tangata and

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