Iodine for infants: ensuring they have the key nutrient

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 11:23pm


Q: If my baby is found to be suffering from iodine deficiency, what is the treatment?

A: Iodine deficiency can be treated by taking supplements prescribed by a doctor. Parents should not give their children iodine supplements without medical advice. Mild cases may be treated by using iodised salt in food, or simply feeding babies more milk, egg yolks, kelp, seaweed and saltwater fish.

Q: Should my baby undergo a blood test if he or she has been drinking the affected brands of milk but is now over eight months old?

A: The government only offers check-ups for babies up to eight months old as they identify them as a high-risk group, which relies on formula for food. Children over six months are considered less likely to be affected by a deficiency as they may be eating solid food along with milk. But paediatricians still advise parents to consult a doctor if a baby older than eight months displays abnormal development.

Q: How should I switch my baby to another brand of formula?

A: Different brands of formula have different dilution methods. Therefore, mixing two or more bands of milk powder is definitely not recommended. There is no fixed rule on how to switch brands, but as different brands have different tastes, it might take babies some time to adapt. Parents can ease their baby into a new formula by gradually increasing the number of feeds using the new brand. If everything goes smoothly, they can adopt a faster pace until all feeds are replaced by the new brand.

Source: Centre for Food Safety website ( and local paediatricians