Is your child getting enough iron?
Iron is an essential nutrient for all children over 6 months of age. In fact, from the age of 7-12 months, a baby needs more iron in their diets than their dad’s do!
Table of Iron requirements by child age.
Iron is essential because it is responsible for creating blood cells (Haemoglobin) which are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout our body. Without enough iron, a child might appear pale, be irritable, have poor endurance for physical activity or be fatigued and tire easily.
The best dietary sources of iron are those found in animal products (haem iron) because the type of iron found in them is easy for our bodies to absorb. The best haem iron options are red meats (such as lamb and beef) but poultry, pork and fish are also good options.
Iron can also be found in plant based foods (non-haem iron) and if consumed with rich sources of vitamin C (vibrant coloured fruit and vegetables) they can be a valuable addition to help meet our growing children’s iron needs. Some of the best options include fortified breads and cereals, legumes, green leafy vegetables and nuts. Toddler milks can also be a valuable source of iron for children who require a boost to their nutrition.