Importance of iron in your child’s diet
1) iron carries oxygen to muscles as the core of all red blood
2) cells which gives more energy to children
3) can improve concentration in children
4) important for brain development
5) helps fight off many infections and inflammations
6) improves sleep
Danger of not getting enough iron in your child’s diet
1) asthma attacks have a greater chance of occurring in iron deficient anemia children, please read here
2) cause learning problems or disabilities
3) shorter attention spans and social disorders
4) prone to infections
5) could lead to a constant cranky and irritable toddler/child
6) difficulty maintaining body temperature
7) iron deficiency increases the vulnerability of children to lead toxicity, CDC research, National Library of Medicine research, New York Times
I don’t know about you but the benefit of iron absorption greatly encourages me to double check that my child is getting the necessary requirements in their diet. With the worry of increased levels of lead in everything from toys made in China to plates which they eat from, I like the idea of my child eating a mineral that helps to diminish the risk of them absorbing lead they may be exposed to.
An iron test can be made for children whose iron level is thought to be low.
To make sure your baby/toddler is getting enough Iron:
breastfed babies should be given cereals that are iron-fortified
babies formula fed should have formula that is iron-fortified
possible iron supplements (supplement list to follow in the next post) for children that: a) picky eaters, b) strictly vegetarians or other restricted diets, c) often fatigued, and d) drinking more than 2-3 cups of milk per day instead of eating the necessary food
Also, make sure organic cereals and formula are iron-fortified as some might not add this! Remember to try and give your baby iron throughout the day, not just in one meal. It is absorbed better this way.
Thyme goes great over vegetables, fish or add with some rosemary over chicken. I must say that CURRY is my favorite spice!!! I could put yellow curry in just about everything that I cook. Next time you’re cooking for your family, add just a dash of curry into your rice or on top of those potatoes.
My mom is going into senior citizen mode with complaints from her doctor of being extremely deficient in iron. My mom is always trying to use this for an excuse to eat red meat 5+ times a week. What my mom doesn’t realize is that she may be eating meat but her body is not absorbing the iron because she doesn’t pair it with foods to help absorption. I often cook for the whole family, mom included, which gives me the perfect opportunity for feeding my baby and mom with foods high in iron paired with foods that will help with the iron absorption.
When I cook meat for dinner, I will serve certain fruits high in vit C for “dessert”. And if my mom eats all her dessert, she might even get a piece of chocolateJ while my baby will get an extra slice of banana (his favourite). * children, adolescents, pregnant women, athletes, menestrating women and older adults run the greatest risk of having iron deficiencies.