20 Iron Rich Foods and Iron Supplements for Babies & Kids
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Iron-rich foods are the best way to prevent iron deficiency for most healthy children. Iron supplements prescribed by your child’s doctor are needed if your child is diagnosed with anemia caused by iron deficiency. We have hence included some brief knowledge about types of Iron Supplements below hence don’t miss to read the article till the end.
20 Iron Rich Foods and Iron Supplements for Babies & Kids
(Watch out for a Video at the end of the article)
This article is continuation of our Iron Deficiencies in Babies and Kids – Symptoms, Prevention and Cure. Please read that article to have a detailed knowledge along with the below.
20 Iron rich foods for Babies & Kids :
Breastmilk, the liquid gold is a complete food that supplies the desired iron requirement of a baby for first six months of life. This is an ideal source of iron till six months as the baby is born with iron stores. Breastmilk complements these stores until the child starts eating solid food.
2. Iron Fortified Formula
Babies who are formula fed, should drink formula that is fortified with Iron. Iron fortification of infant formulas is required to replenish the physiological deficits in an infant. Iron fortified formula feeding ensures that the child will have adequate iron stores and not suffer from iron deficiency anemia.
Ragi is considered as a wonder grain as it is packed with all the essential minerals and nutrients especially iron. It is an excellent source of iron and beneficial for kids with low hemoglobin levels. Our Ragi Recipes like Sprouted Ragi Powder, Ragi Milk Porridge, Ragi Rotti or Ragi Malt are great options. You can also buy Sprouted Ragi Powder from our store.
Bajra or Pearl Millet is rich source of iron. It is considered as treatment for anemia. Bajra helps significantly in raising the hemoglobin levels. You can make Khichdi, Porridges or Roti using Bajra.
5. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli are rich in iron. Adding these to your kid’s diet can boost their iron levels. Like dill leaves, methi leaves, pudina or mint leaves, palak. We have shared few Spinach Recipes on our blog like Spinach Paneer Rice, Spinach Puree and Spinach Soup, please have a look.
6. Dry Fruits
• Apricots: Apricots are a great source of iron and antioxidants. They contain more than 50% of the daily requirement of iron.
• Prunes: Prune juice is a great source of iron. Apart from treating constipation, prune juice also helps to prevent and treat iron deficiency.
• Raisins: Raisins are one of the best sources of iron and helps in curing iron deficiency in our body. They are also rich in potassium, calcium, proteins and fiber.
Green peas are excellent sources of iron. Apart from iron they are also high in protein and is one of the best options for vegetarians looking for iron. Green peas are rich in Vitamin C that will help in absorption of iron. Therefore, green peas is ideal iron rich plant food. Check out Beetroot Peas Pulao
Vitamin C available in jaggery boosts iron absorption. Jaggery is obtained from sugar cane juice directly and is very rich source of iron. The folate content in it helps in preventing anaemia. You can buy Organic Jaggery from our store here.
9. Legumes, Lentils and other Beans
Unlike meat and other sources of Iron Legumes or Lentils are not high in fat and hence make a healthy source of Iron. Baked beans, kidney beans, soyabeans, chickpeas, all lentils like toor dal, masoor dal, etc are all good for your baby as they are rich in iron, protein and fiber. You can easily use them in Khichdi or Porridges for babies and other family foods for kids.
10. Red Meats
Meat, especially red meat is a good source of iron as it contains large amounts of heme iron. Heme iron can be easily absorbed by the body and also helps to restore iron in the body.
Quinoa is a dense enough grain generally consumed as porridge during breakfast. It is a good source of dietary iron. Ideally it has to be soaked to reduce the content of phytic acid which is an inhibitor of iron absorption. It can be easily used in baby food in form of Porridge, Dosa or Khichdi (just replace the millet in recipe suggested). We shall post quinoa recipes very shortly. Here are a few of our millet recipes:
12. Iron-fortified Cereals, Bread or Pasta
Iron fortified cereals, breads or pasta are vital food items of every individual. These do not have iron but are fortified with high concentration of iron. This combined with orange juice enhances the iron absorption. These also make a healthy and quick Breakfast option.
13. Oily Fish or Sea Foods
Oily fish or seafoods rich in fish oil are a good source of iron which does not demand any additional requirement of iron in your diet. Sea food with the oil is an excellent source of iron.
Tofu is an excellent vegetarian supplement of iron made from soy milk. It supplements about 20% of the recommended allowance of iron that is required in a day. It also high content of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. You can replace paneer to use this in simple recipes here like Vegetable Paneer Puree, Paneer Blocks, Daliya Paneer Khichdi, 5 Paneer Recipes etc.
Sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds are the other iron rich plant products. They can be consumed raw or can be consumed added to any other food. They are also good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well.
Nuts and the butter obtained from these nuts are a good source of non heme iron. The iron rich nuts include almonds, cashews, pine nuts. They are also good source of protein and fibers along with loads of antioxidants. You can try our Dry Fruits Powder, Nuts Powder recipes.
17. Amaranth or Rajgira Seeds
Amaranth or Rajgira seeds are rich in iron and iron inhibitor like phytic acid. It’s good to soak it overnight before consuming it for great results. Its goes well as a replacement for any millet recipe. You can give our Organic Instant Amaranth Ragi Mix to your babies.
18. Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is the ideal food that can be started at a very young age in children. It is loaded with iron and has rich fiber content which will help in relieving constipation. Sweet potato is the earliest food that is introduced to a baby as its rich in iron. You can check Sweet Potato Pancake recipe on our blog.
Eggs do not have high iron content. The little content adds up to make it the ideal iron content that is required for a day. Give only egg yolks to babies to avoid any allergy issues. You can find 5 Egg Recipes using Egg Yolk for babies on our Blog.
20. Dark Chocolate
The bittersweet taste of dark chocolate has to be relished to get the required iron supplement. Dark chocolate along with other iron rich foods is known to reverse iron deficiency anemia. It is also a rich source of flavonoids which increases the blood circulation.
5 Tips to Include iron in your Child’s diet
1. Try and make recipes including Iron Rich Foods
2. Meal plans work best.
3. For best absorption of Iron in your baby or kids, body combine Iron Rich foods with the one which are rich in Vitamin C.
4. Use Cast Iron pots and pans for cooking.
5. Try and reduce intake of milk as it hinders iron absorption.
Iron Supplements are suggested by doctors after certain tests to be followed. The below is mere knowledge purpose. So please don’t forget to talk to paediatrician before introducing any.
Types of Safe Iron Supplements for Babies or Kids
• Liquid Drops
Liquid supplements typically are easier for kids than pills as we can squirt the liquid straight into the child’s mouth instead of swallowing.
Syrups can be easily measured and given to child. But the metallic taste of iron is not liked by children and also with iron syrups the teeth can get stained.
Chewable is best suited for those who do not want to deal with measuring liquids and syrup. These supplements come in different flavors and kids just love them. Make sure you keep these out of children’s reach.
Kids just love vitamin gummy as it tastes good and resembles a candy. Gummies are an ideal way to deliver the required content of iron as they are available in different flavors and colours.
Iron supplements which are in powder form can be mixed easily in kid’s foods such as oatmeal, yogurt etc and kids might not even know about it. These are ideal in case of toddlers and school going children.
Iron Fortified Drinks or Juices
If the above looks boring to your kids, you can include any of Iron Fortified Drinks or Juices in their diet. Tropicana has recently launched 2 varieties of Health Drinks – Tropicana Essentials Iron and Tropicana Essentials Fruits & Veggies.
The Tropicana Essentials IRON consists of concentrated fruit juices like apple, carrot, mango, orange, pineapple, and banana. These juices have added nutrients to them like Iron, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Each serving (200 ml) of Tropicana Essentials IRON provides 15% RDA of Iron. That is, consuming 1 serve of this juice would satisfy 15% of the estimated daily iron requirement.
- Above 2 years kids can drink this on a daily basis
- These juices are also good for women who fall into the second largest category of anemics in India after kids.
- Tropicana Essentials juices are preservative & additive-free.
- These juices contain no added Sugar, just concentrated juice.
- They are flash pasteurized.
- They are packed in 6 layer tetra pack for better life.