The best method to make sure that your toddler has enough iron is to consist of plenty of various iron-rich foods in her diet. Goal to consist of at least one of the following in each of her daily meals:
- Fortified breakfast cereals.
- Lean red meat, such as beef, lamb or pork.
- Dark poultry meat, such as chicken thighs or legs.
- Dark green veggies, such as broccoli and watercress.
- Pulses, such as baked beans, lentils and kidney beans.
- Dried fruit, such as dried apricots, figs, sultanas and prunes.
- Liver or liver crown. Just include liver or liver products when a week though, as they have high levels of vitamin A.
- Ground or sliced nuts. Don’t give entire nuts to your toddler, as these are a choking risk for under-fives.
- Oily fish, such as sardines, mackerel, trout, salmon and fresh tuna. These are also terrific for you toddler’s brain development. Include oily fish in her meals as soon as a week or two times a week. Do not provide it regularly than this, as oily fish include percentages of toxins that can build up in time.
Toddlers aged in between one year and 3 years require approximately 6.9 mg of iron a day to keep their blood cells healthy. Iron is a fundamental part of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is found in red blood cells and brings oxygen around your toddler’s body, providing it to her organs and muscles.
The iron your toddler consumes will just work if her body’s able to absorb it. You can help her do this by giving her something consisting of vitamin C at the same time as the iron-rich food. Great sources of vitamin C include:
- Oranges, strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants and kiwi fruit.
- Tomatoes and red or green bell peppers.
- Dark green, leafy veggies such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale and spinach.
- Potatoes and sweet potatoes.
It’s particularly crucial for your toddler to obtain plenty of vitamin C if she doesn’t eat much meat. This is since iron from other food sources (non-haem iron) is not as easily absorbed into the body as the iron in meat (haem iron).
It’s rather normal for your toddler to go through stages of fussy consuming. Try not to stress if your toddler consumes more iron-rich food than she requires on one day and less on the next. Rest assured that if she generally has a balanced diet, her iron consumption need to be about right across the week.
Nevertheless, too much iron can be harmful. So there’s no need to offer your toddler iron supplements or follow-on formula milk if she already consumes a healthy, varied diet.
If your toddler doesn’t have enough iron in her body, this can result in iron-deficiency anaemia. Moderate anaemia doesn’t constantly cause symptoms. Nevertheless, signs of anaemia in toddlers may consist of:
- exhaustion and laziness
- pale skin
- becoming breathless during workout
- being more prone to infections
If you’re worried that your toddler isn’t really getting sufficient iron, speak to your GP or health visitor. A simple finger-prick blood test can confirm whether your toddler is anaemic.
Learn how to offer her a balanced diet and find whether she needs a vitamin supplement.
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