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Frequently Asked Questions

We will be moving back to Germany from the United States with our 8 month old son. The references for child nutrition seem to differ especially for iron, is that true?

United States

Yes, it is true that the national nutrient recommendations differ (see Table 32), but all take into account the estimated nutrient needs of nearly all healthy people. The Reference Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) for iron given in Table 32 illustrate the large variations that exist among the recommendations from different countries. These variations highlight the scientific uncertainty regarding the optimal intake of iron for infants and young children.Table 32. Recommended nutrient intakes for iron in mg/day

Age Germany(c) United Kingdom United States European Union(a) WHO(b)
0-3 months 0.5 1.7 6.0 - -
4-6 months 8 4.3 6.0 - -
7-9 months 8 7.8 10.0 6.0 8.5
10-12 months 8 7.8 10.0 6.0 8.5
1-3 years 8 6.9 10.0 4.0 5.0
4-6 years 8 6.1 10.0 4.0 5.0

a Bioavailability 15 %
b Median basal requirement on intermediate bioavailability diet
c under the age of 4 months, infants have a quite low recommended iron intake, because they are adequately supplied with iron remaining from placenta deposits Source: Garrow et al.(20) and DGE


The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) is a non-profit organisation which communicates science-based information on nutrition and health, food safety and quality, to help consumers to be better informed when choosing a well-balanced, safe and healthful diet.

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This site was last updated 26/05/2016
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