A healthy and balanced diet is essential to maintain health, especially in childhood. Preparing the right menu to provide the child with the necessary nutrients and vitamins is one of the biggest concerns of parents. A diet rich in iron will prevent the little one from suffering from diseases such as childhood anemia and will promote their growth.
The iron is one of the elements that more attention should be paid in infant feeding. It helps in the manufacture of red blood cells in the blood. Iron deficiency will prevent oxygen from being distributed correctly from the lungs to all organs of the body.
Weakness and tiredness are the most common symptoms that indicate a lack of iron in the child. To provide your child with the appropriate levels, you must pay attention to their diet. Many are the food products that contain this element that provides them with the energy necessary for their growth . However, not all of them can be absorbed by the body with the same ease.
There are two types of iron: heme and non-heme . Heme iron is found in foods of animal origin and its absorption is easier for the body. For its part, non-heme iron is found in foods of plant origin. If the child follows a vegetarian diet , it is important that you combine foods rich in iron with fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C. Oranges, grapefruits, strawberries and kiwi will help the body to absorb non-heme iron better. Avoid combining it with dairy products and infusions that will only slow down the absorption process.
IRON RICH FOODS
The nutritional value of spinach and its high iron content is known to all thanks to the animated series ‘Popeye’. However, this is not the product with the highest iron content. Here is a list of foods with higher levels of iron that will help you keep your child healthy and away from childhood anemia.
Mussels, clams and oysters have a high level of iron. However, they are not products of daily consumption and their cost is somewhat high. Include them in the children’s diet at least once a week.
2. Organ meats
Beef liver, gizzards and even blood sausage are foods loaded with heme iron that will help your child stay healthy and provide them with the necessary energy for day to day. Do not abuse those with higher caloric content but include them in the children’s menu.
Thyme, oregano, dill, cumin, bay leaf, basil … All these spices contain iron of plant origin. The great advantage they present is that they can be present in the daily diet regardless of the menu chosen for your child. Dressings for salads, meats and pasta can have any of these elements.
To the already mentioned spinach, broccoli, chard and peas are added among the vegetables with the highest iron content. Choose especially dark green leafy vegetables to provide higher iron levels for your children. They are the foods that provide the highest levels of non-heme iron to children, especially if they follow a vegetarian diet . Remember to combine them with products rich in vitamin C to promote the absorption of iron.
5. Meat and fish
Beef and chicken will provide high levels of iron for your child. Include them on the menu two to three times a week. Alternate the use of meat with fish to provide them with the necessary energy. Among the products richest in iron are anchovies, sardines and anchovies.
Everyone knows the high iron value that lentils contain. However, it is not one of the foods that arouses the greatest enthusiasm among children. Along with them, other legumes rich in iron are chickpeas and soybeans.
7. Egg yolk
It is important to include it in a diet rich in iron but we must not forget that it is non-heme iron and that, therefore, its absorption is slower and more difficult. It should be noted that if the egg white is included, the iron values of this food decrease.
They can be of great help if your child is a little reluctant to take the products indicated above. Pistachios and sunflower seeds are the nuts that contain the highest levels of iron. You can offer them to your child as a fun treat or snack. Almonds can also provide the necessary iron for the child.
The fruit is essential in the diet for both children and adults. Among the products with the highest levels of iron are grapes and mangoes. They can be the perfect dessert to complete a menu rich in iron that favors the growth of the child.