The Sunday Telegraph reports that one in three toddlers is iron deficient. Symptoms include irritability and tiredness. Only one in three, huh? But seriously the health of our little peeps is a top priority for every parent. Dietitians Association of Australia spokeswoman Melina Katz recommends 30-50g of red meat three times a week for toddlers. Westmead Children’s Hospital has a good fact sheet with some tips on increasing iron intake (serve veg high in vitamin C alongside lean cuts of red meat to aid iron absorption). I myself am not a huge red meat fan and this seems to have transferred to our son. Our daughter on the other hand can go to town on a steak just like her daddy and when I serve vegetarian she looks at it disapprovingly and asks, “where’s the meats mama?” Some of the kid-friendly red meat successes in our house include:
• Lamb cutlets. I know they are a tad expensive but it’s such a nice cut of meat and not one bit goes to waste as kids will suck that bone dry (and you can support Aussie farmers).
• Kangaroo (it’s very high in protein too) and veal fillets cooked in cream are nice and tender for little teeth to chew.
• And of course there’s the good old spag bol (just make sure you use lean top quality mince meat), which also provides a perfect opportunity to sneak lots of veg into the sauce. I like to grate in zucchini, throw in finely chopped mushrooms and capsicum and flavour with basil, parsley and garlic.
What’s your red meat magic dish?