Many toddlers may be at risk of developing anaemia, with new research suggesting one in three have low iron levels.
Otago University principal investigator Anne-Louise Heath says
iron requirements for many toddlers far outweigh their iron intake.
However, increasing the amount of red meat a toddler eats will stop their iron levels from dropping and giving them iron fortified milk will increase the levels.
Dr Heath says severe iron deficiency can delay brain development and may result in impaired cognitive function and behavioural problems.
She says many parents are not aware of the problem and should seek professional advice to ensure their child's iron levels remain healthy.