Iron-Rich Recipes for Babies, Toddlers and Kids

by admin_gothkm8c

Iron is a super mineral that the body requires for growth and development. The body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to the parts of the body. And myoglobin, a protein that provides 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
  • Soybean flour
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Dark leafy vegetables, such as spinach
  • Seafood
  • Beetroot

Choose Vitamin C containing Foods for better Absorption of Iron:

Citrus fruits contain vitamin C in high amounts

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

Recommended Daily Intake

Life Stage Recommended Amount
Birth to 6 months 0.27mg
Infants 7-12 months 11mg
Children 1-3 years 7mg
Children 4-8 years 10mg
Children 9-13 years 8mg
Teenage boy 14-18 years 11mg
Teenage girl 14-18 years 15mg
Adult men 19-50 years 8mg
Mature women 19-50 years 18mg
Adults 51 years and other 8mg
Pregnant teens 27mg
Pregnant women 27mg
Breastfeeding teens 10mg
Breastfeeding women 9mg

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 the 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 your toddler switches to eating regularly, they might not get enough iron. Only 8% of toddlers have iron deficiency. Low iron causes iron deficiency anemia; red blood cell levels become soft, and oxygen levels cause the problem.

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

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

Longer-term, it can lead to;

  • Slower growth
  • Delayed motor skill development
  • A higher number of infections because iron supports the immune system

Symptoms may not appear at first, but with time, the child experiences;

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

Tannin is found in tea, decreasing the body’s ability to reduce iron absorption. A child who drank tea more leads to iron deficiency anemia.

RDA for Toddlers

Iron is essential for the 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
  • Watermelon

Aim to serve 2-3 of these foods to toddlers daily for enough iron. If you pair these iron-rich foods with vitamin C, iron absorption increases.

 

 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 veggies
  • 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
  • Lamb 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

References:

  • https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/iron/
  • https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/iron-rich-foods-for-toddlers
  • https://www.yummytoddlerfood.com/iron-rich-foods-for-kids/

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