New study finds pureed pork supports infant growth
Introducing babies to meat, such as pork, can help boost linear growth, according to new research from the University of Colorado published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Meat is an important source of much-needed iron and protein in a baby’s diet yet for many moms it may not be the first choice when it comes to feeding their baby. However, this new research suggests a higher-protein diet, with meat as the primary source, may be beneficial for infants when it comes to early growth.
"Meat, such as pork, provides important micronutrients, is an excellent source of protein and can be an important complementary food for infants who are ready for solid foods," said lead study author Minghua Tang, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado.
In the study, 64 healthy, formula-fed infants ate meat-based complementary foods, such as pureed ham and beef, or dairy-based complementary foods from ages five to 12 months old. Researchers found the pureed meats promoted a greater rate of growth – with length of nearly one inch greater compared to the dairy-fed group at 12 months of age, with no increase in risk of being overweight at the completion of the seven-month study.
"Our research suggests introducing higher amounts of protein and introducing meat, such as pork, into the diet at five months could be potentially beneficial for linear growth (length gain)," said Tang. "We're not telling parents to load an infant’s diet with red meat, but to consider animal-sourced protein as an option."
At Little Foodie Club, we serve a variety of meat-based purees, including pork. Our pork puree is served with cabbage, apple & caraway. Cabbage is rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, and a very good source of dietary fiber and vitamins C, K and B6. We blend it with pork, rich in essential minerals and vitamins as well as protein. Caraway provides antiseptic qualities and an aromatic earthiness, while the apple gives a hint of sweetness.