Do you feel your kid is not getting enough nutrition? What if his diet lacks iron, have you thought about it? If not, we here present you a detailed outlook on why iron is important for your kid.
Being a parent, your paramount concern is to ensure a nutritious diet for your child. An ideal diet for a child contains appropriate levels of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, proteins, fibre, etc. Deficiency of even a single essential nutrient can slow down and obstruct growth in your child.
Iron is one such essential nutrient which is more often lacks in a typical Indian diet (especially for children). Low iron level can cause deficiency disease like anaemia, which further reflects as stress, fatigue, paleness and weakness. Lack of sufficient iron in your kid can hamper development both physically and mentally.
Importance Of Iron:
Iron is responsible for the formation of red blood cells, improving blood circulation, boosting oxygen and stamina levels in your child.
- Heme iron is naturally derived from haemoglobin and is thus derived from animal sources like meat, fish and poultry.
- Non-heme iron is naturally derived from plants and is present in fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses, etc.
Top 10 Iron Rich Foods For Kids:
Some healthy dietary-musts to boost iron supply in your kid are:
Packed with iron, proteins, healthy fats and essential Omega 3 fatty acids. A diet inclusive of various kinds of nuts, such as pistachio, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, almonds, etc, is a good way to provide nutrition to your child. One ounce of nuts everyday completes the regular non heme iron requirement in your kid.
2. Leafy Green Vegetables:
One of the most nutritious foods in a kid’s diet, especially for vegetarians. They contain all the essential vitamins, calcium, minerals, fibre and are a rich source of non heme iron. Spinach and kale should be definitely included in a child’s diet. One cup of green leafy vegetables can help in meeting the daily iron requirement in your kid.
Enriched with all the essential nutrients, eggs are good sources of iron for kids and can be included in their diet from as early as 4 months. An eggetarian meal helps to maintain haemoglobin levels in the body and improves stamina. One egg per day appropriately satisfies the iron requirement of your child.This is also considered as one of the best iron food for kids.
[ Read:Egg Recipes for Kids ]
4. Red Meat:
It is a rich source of iron. Heme iron present in red meat gets easily absorbed by blood and is further distributed in your body. Lamb, pork, beef, etc., contain excellent levels of iron and hence are a must in a child’s diet. Two servings of red meat, with each containing almost 3.5 mg of iron, are ideal for kids.
This is one food group which carries essential nutrients required in every kid’s diet. Cereals like oats, barley, wheat, etc., are important for the all-round growth and development of in your child. Fortified cereals provide your kid with the regular dose of iron needed to ensure proper blood flow, brain development and prevention of anaemia. One bowl of cereals is sufficient to provide your kid with his daily iron requirement.
Legumes are equally helpful in meeting the daily iron needs. Kidney beans, Lima beans, black beans, soya beans, chickpea, etc., are a must in a child’s daily diet. A cup of pulses daily provides your kid up to 4 mg iron to meet the non heme iron requirement.
7. Citrus Fruits:
Not a direct sources of iron, but helps improve iron absorption capacity in your child. Eating citrus fruits like orange, musambi (citrus limetta), lime, etc., provides Vitamin C which helps your kid to increasingly absorb iron from food. It is recommended to include at least 1 citrus fruit each day to maintain healthy hemoglobin levels in the kids.
Packed with essential antioxidants, fibres, vitamins and minerals, broccoli is a rich source of non heme iron. It helps in maintaining proper blood flow and oxygen levels in the body while also promoting a healthy development of the brain. Half a bowl of broccoli a day meets the iron requirement needed in your kid’s diet.
9. Dried Fruits And Seeds:
These are extremely nutritious and are willingly eaten and relished by the kids of any age. Dry fruits and seeds like apricot, resins, pumpkin seeds, prunes, etc., are rich sources of non heme iron. One ounce of dry fruits or seeds ensures wholesome nutrition to your child’s diet.
It’s a global known fact that fishes are rich in iron and omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acid helps prevent clot, strokes and promotes regular blood flow. Fishes such as salmons, cod, haddock, trout, etc., carry high nutritional value and are great sources of iron. You can feed your child up to 2 servings of fish every week.
We hope our detailed list of iron rich foods helps you to follow dietary measures in your kid’s diet. Remember, if you child has iron deficiency, it may not be totally cured by eating the above mentioned foods; for best results, it’s always recommended to seek medical advice.
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