ANGUS BEEF AND
Meat is an important protein source of high biological value for children, as it contains essential acids, phosphorus and mineral salts. The poorest in fats and the one indicated for children or for people who follow certain diets recommended by the doctor is beef.
The opinions are divided about the time of the introduction of beef into the baby’s diet. Some paediatricians (especially from the United States) consider that the most appropriate time would be at the age of 8 months, while other opinions come from European countries and Canada. In these areas, meat is added to the menu from the beginning of food diversification.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Society of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Pediatric Nutrition (ESPGHAN) support the gradual introduction of meat into the infant’s diet from about 6-7 months. In the first phase, meat cuts with a low-fat content will be cooked and can be consumed daily by infants. Initially, it will be boiled or passed, mixed with vegetable puree, and as the child grows older, gradually, other cooking methods will be introduced, grilling.
Beef is important for a balanced intake of nutrients, being a valuable source of:
- High-quality proteins, all the essential amino acids are present (ie those amino acids that are not produced by the human body and must be purchased from food);
- Arachidonic acid, from the family of essential polyethene fatty acids (LCPUFA) of the n-6 series, very well represented in the brain of the baby;
- B vitamins, but also vitamins A and E (especially in the liver);
- Minerals, especially iron and zinc. Around the age of 6 months, the liver iron reserves of the term baby are exhausted, the mother’s milk is a poor source of iron, and the iron-deficiency anaemia with all its dramatic consequences becomes a reality, without any nutritional intervention.