As parents, giving vitamins and supplements to supply your children’s basic nutrition is important. Children need enough vitamins and minerals to sustain their energy levels and to keep them sharp and functioning throughout the day. It is also good for the child’s development as they age. Iron is one of the most important supplements your child should have, Iron helps the proper production of haemoglobin. In this article, we’ll be discussing what we should consider when choosing the right iron supplements for kids.
How much Iron do kids need?
The amount of iron each person needs depends on their age, gender, and whether they eat a vegetarian diet. Vegetarians need twice as much iron because they don’t often eat the more easily absorbed iron from animal foods.
- Ages 0-6 months: 27 mg
- 7 months- 1 year: 11mg
- 1 year- 3 years: 7mg
- 4 years- 8 years: 10mg
- 9 years- 13 years: 8mg
Foods that are rich in Iron
Aside from taking iron supplements, some types of food can also consist of iron. Once your child is able to eat solid food, you can give them the following to have enough supply of iron in their nutrition:
- Fortified food like oatmeal and baby cereals.
- Dark, leafy green vegetables
- Red meat
Iron deficiency in kids
Kids are more prone to iron deficiency. Babies are born with iron stores, but premature babies have less time to store iron in the womb, so they are at greater risk. Kids who are picky eaters or eat mostly vegetarian diets may not get enough iron.
Here are some signs your child might have iron deficiency:
- Cold hands and feet
- Behavioral problems
- Frequent infections
- Unusual cravings for inedible or non-nutrient things like ice, dirt, paint, or starch
- Growth and development slow down
- Poor appetite
- Unusual shortness of breath
- Pale complexion
- Tiredness or fatigue
How can we avoid iron deficiency in kids?
Be mindful of your children’s intake of vitamins and minerals
To give your child’s health, always make sure they take their vitamins and supplements regularly if needed. Having a lack of vitamins and minerals can cause problems with their brain and body development.
Talk to your doctor regularly
Always consult your doctor first if you are concerned about your child’s iron levels. They will take a sample of your child’s blood to test the iron levels in the red blood cells. Do not give supplements to children without consulting a doctor. Too much iron can be toxic.
Monitor your child’s milk intake
Between the ages of 1 and 5, children should drink no more than 24 ounces of milk per day.
Give them food rich in vitamin C
Intake of ascorbic acid, found in foods rich in vitamin C, can help your child’s body better absorb and use iron. Add fresh citrus fruits(such as oranges), berries, tomatoes, and dark leafy green vegetables to your child’s diet.