Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Beef as a Complementary First Food — and a Family Food


Submitted by Krystle Hergert, RD, LDN, Silvis Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian

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.

Vital bundle of nutrients
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.

Strong minds and bodies
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.

Healthy immune system
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.

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

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

Krystle Hergert represents Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For more information, call 309-792-1507 or email khergert@hy-vee.com. Hy-Vee is located at 2001 5th Street, Silvis, IL 61282.