Iron Deficiency and Iron rich foods for Babies

It is very important to have a satisfactory amount of Iron in the diet. Older children may perform badly in school and have problems in maintaining concentration. They may also feel tired and weak. It is thus important for all babies and growing children to have the recommended dietary allowance or RDA of Iron in their diet.

How can I increase Iron in my baby?
Iron is of two types. Heme iron is easily absorbed by the body and is found in meats. Non-Heme Iron is found in vegetarian foods like legumes, cereals, vegetables and fruits. Good Iron absorption needs a diet rich in Vitamin C too. it is smart to serve Iron-rich or fortified food with a good source of Vitamin C like peppers or citrus fruits.

You can add eggs and meat to the baby’s diet slowly after 6 months. Fortified cereals, fruits, Vegetables and legumes along with tofu can be good sources of Iron. It is best to restrict dairy with food as it impedes the absorption of Iron.

What can I give my baby for Iron deficiency?
Most full-term and breastfed babies do not need Iron supplements. You can add these foods to their diet to enrich Iron levels.

Fortified baby cereal from the age of 6 months. Start with a single grain like rice and gradually move to multi-grain cereals.

Fortified Oatmeal from the age of 6 months.
Amaranth-4-6 months
Barley can be given as a soup or porridge from 4-6 months
Quinoa -6 months onwards
Wheat germ after 9 months added to cooked cereals or lentil.
Lentils and other pulses after 7 months of age.
Tofu from 7-8 months.

Vegetables like peas, beets, broccoli, beans, Kale from the age of 4 months in pureed form. Fruits can be added to the baby’s diet from 4 months onward. Bananas, berries, raisins, apples are rich in Iron. You can mash the soft fruits and lightly puree the harder ones in the beginning.

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