Best Children’s Vitamins With Iron

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The best food for a baby is breast milk, but as popular as breastfeeding has become mothers cannot always produce enough breastmilk. So what should you do if your baby is not drinking enough from the breast?

Best Children’s Vitamins With Iron

Ensuring that our kids eat a well balanced diet, including iron-rich foods, can be hard when they’re eating unpredictably. I hope this info on iron-rich foods for kids (and the recipe ideas at the bottom) helps to set your mind at ease!

Ensuring that your kids are getting enough iron can seem hard when they’re in a phase of picky eating—or just not eating a ton. But since iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia are still common issues with kids and it can impact their development and behavior, it’s important to try to include iron-rich foods in their daily meals.

For some context, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Among children ages 1 to 3 years, iron deficiency occurs in 6.6 percent to 15.2 percent of toddlers, depending on ethnicity and socioeconomic status.” Which is much higher than I would have expected. They say that preterm infants, exclusively breastfed infants, and infants at risk of developmental disabilities are at higher risk for deficiencies.

I never want any parents to worry excessively about their child’s nutritional intake and thankfully, adding iron to a diet is actually quite easy.

The AAP recommends that iron comes from iron-rich foods first and foremost. The type of iron in meat, fish, and poultry is easier for our bodies to absorb, but adding a range of iron-rich foods is your best bet. Here are some examples of foods with a good dose of iron.

  • Red meats like beef and lamb
  • Dark meat poultry
  • Fish including shrimp and oysters
  • Iron-rich vegetables including dark leafy greens (think Popeye!), baked potatoes, and pumpkin
  • Beans and legumes like kidney beans, lentils, and tofu
  • Fortified cereals like Cheerios and some hot cereals including baby oatmeal
  • Whole grains and whole grain products (including some of the newer bean pastas like Banza)

TIP: A toddler-size serving of meat is 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup. A toddler-size serving of produce is 2 tbsp to ¼ cup. A serving of beans and legumes is 1-2 tablespoons for younger kids and ¼ cup for older kids. (Find more specifics in my Daily Toddler Nutrition Guide.)

sweet potato puree

Top 10 Best Iron-Rich Foods for Babies

Here are my go-to foods with a lot of iron that you can feed to a baby who’s eating purees or baby led weaning style foods.

  1. Beef, ground
  2. Bean puree
  3. Beans, very soft and lightly mashed
  4. Bean pasta, cooked very soft (like Banza)
  5. Chicken, finely shredded or ground
  6. Eggs, scrambled or hard cooked yolks mashed with water
  7. Green bean puree
  8. Infant cereal like baby oatmeal, fortified
  9. Oatmeal
  10. O cereal
  11. Smoothies with spinach or kale (serve on a spoon or in a reusable pouch)
  12. Sweet potatoes, mashed
  13. Pea puree
  14. Peanut butter puree
  15. Strawberry puree

How much iron does my child need?

Toddlers ages 1 to 3 years need 7 mg/day of iron. Kids aged 4-8 need 10 mg/day. For context:

  • ¾ cup of Cheerios: 6 mg
  • 1 serving fortified infant oatmeal: 5 mg
  • 4 ounce hamburger: 5 mg
  • 2 ounces Banza chickpea pasta: 4 mg
  • ½ cup dried peaches: 3.2 mg
  • 2 ounces Barilla red lentil pasta: 3 mg
  • ½ cup of lentils: 3 mg
  • 1 cup prune juice: 3 mg
  • Spinach Quesadilla: 2.1 mg
  • ½ cup dried apricots: 1.7 mg
  • ½ cup oatmeal: 1.7 mg
  • Simple Green Smoothie: 1.7 mg
  • Spinach Banana Muffin: 1.4 mg
  • 1 egg: 1.4 mg iron
  • ½ cup raisins: 1.5 mg
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread: 0.7 mg
  • ½ cup fortified baby puffs: 0.7 mg
  • 1 ounce hummus: 0.7 mg
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter: 0.6 mg
  • ½ cup edamame beans: 0.5 mg
  • 1 cup watermelon: 0.4 mg

TIP: It’s possible that your kiddo is already getting enough just by eating normal toddler-size servings.

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