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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 June 2006, 20:14 GMT 21:14 UK
Bid to stop Asian infant anaemia
Rab Nawaz
Rab Nawaz has spent six years developing the recipes
One of Yorkshire's best-known Asian food specialists is set to launch a range of halal baby foods.

In the past Muslim mothers have found it hard to find convenience foods which conform to their religious beliefs.

That is believed to be the reason why there is a high rate of iron deficiency among Muslim children.

Now Bradford-based Mumtaz has come up with a range of halal baby foods - thought to be the first in the country - to help solve the problem.

Their new range of baby food uses meat that has been killed and blessed according to Muslim law.

Rab Nawaz, from Mumtaz, has spent years travelling the world searching for ingredients and suppliers.

He said: "The more we looked into it the more it made sense to us to do it. A lot of hard work and a lot of time and money has been spent on this project."

Development slowed

Mr Nawaz said the range would be manufactured in Spain to make it easier to export to the Middle East and Asian countries.

Paediatric dietician Judy More told BBC Look North: "What's happened up until now with Asian babies is there hasn't been halal made foods available and mothers have tended not to use home cooked foods for a variety of reasons - they may be spicy and they don't want to give that to their children.

"They have tended to wean the children on things like egg custard and rice pudding and sometimes you will find an Asian baby has had that three times a day rather than a balanced diet.

"That's when they get the anaemia, which can lead to growth and development being slowed down. Mothers will see their children are tired and lethargic and they will be more prone to infections which means more visits to their GP."

She added: "I think this will give Muslim mothers the opportunity and the confidence to feed their babies a balanced diet. Hopefully then we will see this high rate of anaemia in Asian toddlers start to come down."

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