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Food and Nutrition Topics..

You are here : home > Food and Nutrition > Eat Healthy Eat Right > Top 5 Iron Rich Foods for Kids

Top 5 Iron Rich Foods for Kids

It is a must to include iron rich foods in the diet of kids to ensure right growth and development. Have a quick look at the top 5 iron rich foods for kids and tips for including them in your kid’s diet.

Iron is responsible for making hemoglobin, the Red blood cells (RBCs) that transport oxygen to all the body cells, and myoglobin, a pigment that stores oxygen in muscles. Without enough iron, the body cannot produce RBCs, and tissues and organs will not get enough oxygen they need. Lack of iron can cause anaemia which can lead to fatigue and weakness. It also affects brain development. Deficiency of iron in kids can be life-threatening, so it is important for kids to get enough iron in their daily diets. Daily recommended intake of iron for kids of ages 1-3 years is 7 mg; for ages 4-8 years, it is 10 mg; and for 9-13 years, it is 8 mg.

1. Liver, Eggs, and Red Meat

Liver of chicken, mutton, lamb, pork, and beef are the best sources of iron, packed with other vitamins, minerals, and protein. Pork liver is considered to be the best as it is slightly leaner and has higher iron and vitamin C levels. You should be moderately serving the liver to your kids as the former are high in cholesterol as well. If your kids are not much of a liver-lover, then you can serve other animal proteins like egg yolks and red meat, which are also high in iron.

2. Beans and Pulses

Beans offer a lot of iron, almost 3-7 mg per cup. A cup of soybeans contain 7 mg of iron; they are also high in protein and fibre. Kidney beans are equally good source of iron. Pair the beans with dark greens high in vitamin C, e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, etc., which helps the absorption of iron. Add beans to salad, or mash them in a dip, or stir-fry them – as your kids love to eat them. Pulses are also abundant in iron. Cooked pulses offer 6 mg of iron per cup. Chickpeas are a great example. Cook them or mix them in salads or dips.

3. Whole Grains and Fortified Cereals

Whole grains are known to have good amount of iron. Oatmeal, barley, millet, etc. provide iron to your kids. You can also opt for fortified cereals by checking the labels of the daily value listed for iron. Iron quantity varies in the fortified cereal products, many of which offer 90-100% of the daily recommended value, along with other vitamins and minerals like zinc, calcium, B vitamins, and fibre.

4. Green Vegetables

Green veggies like spinach, turnip greens, kale, etc. are good source of iron. A cup of green veggies provides 6 mg of iron. They also provide protein, fibre, calcium, and other vitamins. You can introduce them in lasagna, salads, puree them in dips, or cook them with other vegetables. Both raw and cooked green veggies are considered to be good source of iron. It is easy to sneak them in your kids' diet and your kids would happily have them.

5. Nuts

Nuts are an abundant source of iron. A cup of almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, or almonds can provide 7-8 mg of iron. You can always make a trail mix of nuts and pack them in your kids’ tiffin-box. You can sprinkle some nuts in your kids’ oatmeal during breakfast. You can give them a handful of nuts to munch on. You can substitute normal butter by peanut butter and spread on your kids’ sandwiches – do anything with the nuts. For younger kids, you must add nuts in their diet only after grinding them into a fine powder to prevent choking hazard.

Kids may not like these, but oysters, mussels, and clams have loads of iron. But surprisingly, few kids enjoy having them. Even fish like salmon and tuna are good sources of iron. You can roast pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds and sprinkle them on regular snacks for your kids. They are a rich source of iron too. Tofu, blackstrap molasses, raisins, etc. are other sources of iron that can be served to your kids.

Why is it important to include iron rich foods in kid’s diet? What can happen to kids due to deficiency of iron? How to include iron rich foods in diet of kids? Discuss here.

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Riya.5 years ago
I agree with gaurav, my grandmother used to make raagi malt for us. Now I also give it to my kids in order to include iron in their diet.
Gaurav.5 years ago
giving raagi malt is one of the good ways to include iron in diet of kids
Mariam.5 years ago
Iron is very important for the growth and development of kids
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