Iron is an important nutrient for the proper development of children. The main function of iron is to carry oxygen to the different parts of the body from the lungs. By doing this, iron helps the muscles to use and store oxygen within them. Iron deficiency can be quite a dangerous situation. It can impede your child’s growth and development. Anaemia and depleted iron stores are two of the worst stages of this condition. In anaemia, the blood does not produce healthy red cells. Red cells are important for carrying oxygen. If the red cells are not healthy, the child will suffer from pale skin and lack of energy. Therefore, it is important for every parent to know how to prevent iron deficiency in children.
If you want to take a u-turn from the traditional medicines and try something more natural then here are some tips for that.
Breast Feeding: It is recommended to breast-feed your child until he is 1 or 2. Breast milk has iron that is easily absorbed by children. In case, breast feeding is not an option then you can opt for iron-fortified infant formula. Please do not use cow milk for children under the age of 3. Cow milk is not a proper source of iron for toddlers.
Opt For Iron Supplements: Although iron supplements are not recommended for children under the age of 1, for premature babies it is recommended. If you had a premature baby and he isn’t eating iron rich diets after 6 months along with breast-feed then it’s important to start iron supplements. However, make sure you consult it with your doctor before starting the supplements.
Make Absorption Easier: It is important to give your child foods that are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps in promoting the absorption of dietary iron which is a must for children. Please remember that citrus juices are not recommended for children under the age of 1 but you can always opt for other stuff such as strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes, etc.
Offer Balanced Meals: In this case, a balanced meal means one that is rich in iron and other nutrients. For children between the ages of 4 months and 5 months, it is important to have added iron in the meals. Iron-fortified cereals, egg yolks, meat and beans are some of the best sources of iron. Try not to give your child food that is high in calories.