Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters and easily grab the attractive food. A baby needs all kinds of nutrients in his growing days. For the first 6 months the baby gets its necessary dose of iron from their mother’s breast milk. The struggle gets stronger for moms as the child grows because they have to feed their babies with terms applied by their kids. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, iron deficiency is seen often between six months and three years of age. A deficiency can lead behavioral problems and delay in development. To guard against iron deficiency parents should take care that there is always iron rich foods frequently available at each meal of their kid.
For strong and healthy body, iron is necessary by the body. The demand of iron increases during time of growth and development. Iron is very important for production of red blood cells, which carries oxygen around the body. They also help in release of energy and development of nerves as well as neurotransmitters in the brain. The deficiency of iron will result in anemia, which causes tiredness and listlessness. Toddlers need an average of 6.9mg of iron per day. To start talking and walking iron is very important for the baby. There are two types of iron heme iron, the most easily absorbed iron and non-heme iron; it is not easy for the intestines to absorb. Eating both sources of iron is good for health. Heme iron helps to improve the absorption of non-heme iron.
List of Iron rich foods for toddlers:
- Kidney bean
- Lima bean
- Navy bean
- Black bean
- Pinto bean
- Soy Bean
- Dried fruits
- Red Bananas
- Passion fruit
- Romaine Lettuce
- Mustard Greens
- Turnip Greens
- Other foods
- Blackstrap molasses
- Swiss chard
- Brussels sprouts
- Egg yolk
- Flax seed
- Wheat germ
Hard boiled eggs can be prepared ahead of time and offered as a snack. When serving eggs, remember that the yolk is the iron rich part of the egg.
Dried beans and peas, kidney beans and Lima beans contain iron, and are easy foods for the toddler to handle and eat.
Green leafy vegetables have the highest amount of iron. These include spinach, broccoli, kale and Swiss chard. Steam or sauté these greens and offer them with a favorite salad dressing.
The best source of iron is included in fresh fruits. They are the amazing source of iron. Fruits like raspberries, Strawberry, Pomegranate, Passion fruit, Mulberries, Lychee, Loganberries, Breadfruit, Boysenberries, Blackcurrants, Avocado are highly rich source of iron. Consuming at least three fruits a day will make the child healthy and happy.
Add few dates to the kid’s pocket and as they are sweet in nature they will definitely enjoy it. Dates are too good in iron but they are also good in calories, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Dates can be added to some of the salads or desserts.
Parsley is considered as one of the most decorative vegetable. It is wonderful source of iron. So add them to kid’s salads. It can also be clubbed with soups. They make amazing combination with vegetable sautés.
A small amount of almonds also contains 6% of iron which meets the daily requirements. Almond can be added to the cookies, pastries, breakfast cereals and smoothies.
Dried figs being low in carbohydrate and calories do not make the kid lethargic. They are also good source of iron.
Include a good amount of cereals in their daily breakfast as they are highly rich in iron. Mix it with good amount of water and mash them with spoon making it into paste form. They definitely taste good.
Club salad vegetables with brown bread to make a yummy sandwich. The salad vegetables contain low calorie which makes them a healthy snack. Compare to whole bread, brown bread contain a good amount of iron. Brown bread can simply taste awesome with a sheet of butter or cheese.
Pasta is becoming a very favorite food among kids. As it contains good amount of iron it is very amazing as energy booster. A good amount of vegetables can be added to pasta making to it more healthy and tasty.
Milk contains very little iron. Make sure that toddler does not fill up on milk and refuse other nourishing foods. Two to three cups of milk per day is recommended for toddlers.
Iron is better absorbed when vitamin C is present. When supplementing the child’s diet with iron-rich foods, offer sources of vitamin C at the same time. Orange juice is often fortified with vitamin C. Other foods include strawberries, cantaloupe, kiwi, tomatoes and broccoli.
Video of The Importance of Iron for Toddlers from youtube: