There is good evidence that the bioavailability of dietary iron and zinc are important determinants of iron and zinc status. Animal products, particularly red meat, are important sources of bioavailable iron and zinc.
There is some evidence that infants are not meeting recommendations for red meat required to meet iron requirements. Whilst evidence is lacking regarding implications of current dietary choices on iron and zinc status in Australia, there is some evidence to suggest that low meat intakes may contribute to marginal iron and zinc status.
Advice on selecting bioavailable iron and zinc dietary sources is required to ensure prevention of iron and zinc deficiency in infants and to prevent the decline in iron stores that can occur in the second year of life.