Iron is an essential mineral in your body. It is necessary for carrying oxygen in the blood. Low iron stores in your body can lead to anemia. In anemia, amount of blood cells is reduced. Then the blood can’t carry oxygen effectively.
Iron deficiency is the commonest reason for anemia in world
Children and adults with anemia may have following symptoms.
- Palpitations in chest
- Breathlessness while doing some work
There may be a significant development delay in your child due to anemia. Because there will be less oxygen to developing brain. It may lead to learning disabilities or other behavioral problems. Because the brain is not happy without its precious oxygen. Therefore, always try to give your kid food high in iron.
What are iron rich foods?
There are plenty of iron rich foods available. Here are some examples:
High in iron
1. Red meat
Red meat is a very good source of iron. They are highly absorbable too. Beef and lamb are the best examples for red meat. If your kid is roughly more than 1 year old you can give red meat. Always remember, it is not only for kids but also for adults very effective. But if you are vegetarian don’t worry, there are many vegetarian diet rich in iron.
2. Green leafy vegetables
If your are a vegetarian, this is the option. Dark green vegetables are rich in iron. Here are some examples.
- Swiss chard
- Beet greens
- Bok choy
3. Liver and kidney
Liver and kidney are the most iron containing parts of meat. You can add them into your child’s diet.
4. Oily fish
This is another rich source of iron. Not only iron, oily fish has many health benefits. Including a lower risk of heart disease, improved mental ability, and protection from cancer. Here are some examples
- Rainbow trout
5. Breast milk
This is the best iron source for breast fed infants. Actually, majority of iron in breast milk is easily absorbed into baby’s blood.
1. Pulses, beans and peas
They contain average iron. But they are readily available sources of iron. Therefore they must be included in your kid’s diet.
2. Wholemeal products
Wholemeal contains iron, protein and healthy fat. Following are some examples:
- Brown rice
3. Dried fruit
You can add some dried food items to your kid’s dessert.
- Date palm
4. Nuts and seeds
As you know, nuts and seeds are good source of healthy fat. They also contain iron. Here are some examples:
- Peanut butter
- Chia seeds
Some health tips
- Animal origin foods contain much iron. And they are highly absorbable than plant iron. So, if possible always try to add animal origin food.
- Cow’s milk contains higher iron. But very few is absorbed. So it is not a good source for iron. Therefore don’t replace breast milk with cow’s milk.
- Infant’s formula contain good and absorbable iron. So, if needed go for a formula feed.
- Tea and coffee contain caffeine. It inhibits the iron absorption from gut. So don’t give tea or coffee along with foo. Give them at least 2 hours after food.
- High fiber foods also inhibit iron absorption.
- If your child has symptoms which I mentioned earlier, consult a doctor.