Iron-Rich Recipes for Babies, Toddlers and Kids

by admin_gothkm8c

Iron is a mineral that body needs for growth and development. Body use iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carry oxygen from lungs to the parts of the body. And myoglobin, a protein that provide oxygen to muscles for proper functioning. Lack of iron leads to iron deficiency anemia.

Good Sources of Iron:

  • Liver ( avoid in pregnancy)
  • Red meat
  • Kidney beans and chickpeas
  • Nuts
  • Dried apricot and raisins
  • Soy bean flour
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Dark leafy vegetables, such as spinach
  • Seafoods
  • Beetroot

Choose Vitamin C containing Foods for better Absorption of Iron:

Citrus fruits contain vitamin C in high amount:

  • Broccoli
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Leafy green
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines
  • Tomatoes

Recommended Daily Intake:

Life Stage

Recommended Amount

Birth to 6 months

Infants 7-12 months


Children 1-3 years

Children 4-8 years


Children 9-13 years

Teens boy 14-18 years


Teens girl 14-18 years

Adult men 19-50 years


Adult women 19-50 years

Adults 51 years and other


Pregnant teens

Pregnant women


Breastfeeding teens

Breastfeeding women


Health benefits of Iron:

  • Reduce fatigue
  • Boost immunity
  • Treat anemia
  • Boosts hemoglobin
  • Improve muscle endurance
  • Improve concentration
  • Reduce bruising
  • Restores sleep ( restless sleep, sleep apnea, insomnia)

Iron Rich Foods for Toddlers:

Iron is essential for;

  1. Supplying oxygen to body
  2. Muscle metabolism
  3. Maintain connective tissues
  4. Physical growth
  5. Nerve development
  6. Cell functioning
  7. Produce some hormones

Iron Deficiency Anemia:

When you toddler switches to eating regular, they might not get enough iron. Only 8% toddlers have iron deficiency. Low iron cause iron deficiency anemia, red blood cells level become low, oxygen level to organs causing problem.

If your child has low iron level, you see that he is;

  • Pale
  • Appear irritable
  • Don’t want to eat

Longer term it can leads to;

  • Slower growth
  • Delayed motor skill development
  • Higher number of infections, because iron support immune system

Symptoms may not appear at first, but with the passage of time, child experience;

  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Irritability
  • Decreased appetite
  • Slow weight gain
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Lightheadedness

Tannin found in tea, which decrease body ability to decrease iron absorption. Child who drank tea more leads to iron deficiency anemia.

RDA for Toddlers:

Iron is essential for rapid growth of toddlers. The recommended daily requirement may vary according to age;

  • Age 0-6 months: 0.27mg per day
  • Age 6-12 months: 11 mg per day
  • Age 1-3 years: 7mg per day
  • Age 4-8 years: 10mg per day

Low birth weight babies need more iron than healthy weight babies.

Iron rich foods for Toddlers:

  • Lean meat
  • Fortified cereals
  • Beans
  • Spinach
  • Dried fruits
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Eggs
  • Green peas
  • Tuna
  • Tofu
  • Peanut butter
  • Oatmeal
  • Broccoli
  • Raisins
  • Water melon

Aim to serve 2-3 of these foods to toddler everyday for enough iron. If you pair these iron rich foods with vitamin C, than iron absorption increase.

Some ideas to consider:

  • Pasta with meatballs (iron from beef, vitamin C from tomatoes)
  • Beans with salsa ( iron from beans, vitamin C from salsa)
  • Beans with chopped tomatoes ( iron from beans and vitamin C from tomatoes)
  • Simple green smoothie ( iron from greens, vitamin C from fruit)
  • Spinach Banana Muffins with kiwi ( iron from spinach, vitamin C from kiwi)

Best Iron-Rich Recipes for Babies, Toddlers and Kids:

Here are some recipes that contain high iron ;

  • Beans puree
  • Beans pasta with marina sauce
  • Beef burritos with vegies
  • Black beans
  • Black bean soup with citrus
  • Broccoli pesto
  • Broccoli cheddar soup
  • BBQ shredded chicken
  • Cheesy meat buns
  • Green smoothies
  • Kale bites
  • Lentils and rice with dried fruit
  • Lentils with tomatoes and Italian spices
  • Lentil soup with vegies
  • Meatballs with hidden vegies
  • Mini egg muffins
  • Egg muffin with spinach
  • Lab meatballs
  • Oatmeal with apple and raisins
  • Oatmeal with pumpkin
  • Chicken and brown rice
  • Spinach banana muffins
  • Strawberry puree
  • Strawberry muffin
  • Strawberry smoothie
  • Tofu with sesame
  • Apple and orange salad


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