We tested in the field an extruded rice flour, fortified with a bovine haemoglobin concentrate (Fe:14 mg/100 g of powder). This cereal has a high iron bioavailability, good protein quality and amino acid score. Healthy, term breast-fed infants were prospectively studied. One group (n = 92) received the fortified cereal (from 4 to 12 months of age). As control, 96 infants received regular solid foods (cooked vegetables and meat) from age 4 months. At the end of the field trial, a subsample of infants in both groups was supplemented with 45 mg Fe during 90 d. Iron nutrition status was determined at 9, 12 and 15 months. At 12 months, iron deficiency anaemia was present in 17 per cent of controls, in 10 per cent of fortified infants as a whole, but only in 6 per cent of the babies who consumed over 30 g of cereal/d. In addition, this latter group did not show any significant changes in iron nutrition status after the supplementation trial. Results demonstrate that the consumption of a haemoglobin fortified cereal is effective in markedly reducing the incidence of iron deficiency in breast-fed infants.