Through my account, Meals for Mini Mouths, a very popular question I’m asked is ‘How do I know if my children are getting enough Iron & other nutrients?’
I must be honest here and say that knowing if my children are getting enough nutrients is not something I tend to worry over an awful lot, if at all. I feel that offering your children a varied diet, will allow them the opportunity to intake all those vital nutrients they need. However, I know that when I weaned my very first baby I always wondered if I was offering enough of each food source. I didn’t obsess over it, but it was present in my thoughts when plating up Ewan’s meals. So, I do know how it can be very reassuring to know that you are doing plenty to ensure your little one’s needs are being met.
To become better clued up on nutrients & in order to offer more detailed help to my followers questions surrounding the topic, I have done a lot of research into each nutrient and found some very interesting information on Iron, which I feel is something lots of you may not yet know about. I know that it’s something I wasn’t aware of before.
So here’s some information on Iron I have put together from my findings, hopefully it will give a much clearer picture on how Iron is absorbed by the body and help you with plating up your little ones meals in a way that aids their Iron absorption process.
Iron is vital to help red blood cells carry oxygen through the body and aid a child’s brain development. Having enough iron in the body can help prevent iron deficiencies.
Not getting enough iron can lead to developing anaemia. One of the most common causes of anaemia is not eating enough iron-rich foods.
Before the age of 6 months your babies Breast milk or Formula has been providing them with all the Iron required to meet their needs. But as your baby gradually starts to wean onto solid foods their sources of Iron need to be incorporated into their mealtimes for their needs to continue to be met.
So here is some simple guidance to help you keep your babies Iron Stores stocked up. There are two forms of Iron:
Heme Iron - This form of Iron is very easily absorbed by the body, some good sources of Heme Iron are:
• Red Meat – Such as, Beef, pork or Lamb
• Poultry – Such as Turkey or Chicken
• Fatty Fish – Such as Salmon or Tuna
The other form of iron is Non-Heme Iron, this is much harder for the body to absorb.
Non-Heme Iron comes from:
• Legumes, such as Lentil, Beans & Chickpeas
• Iron-Fortified Cereal & Bread
• Green Leafy Vegetables, such as Spinach, Broccoli & Kale
The trick to speed up the absorption of these Non-Heme Iron foods is to pair them up & eat them with some foods that are high in vitamin C.
Here is a list of the top sources of Vitimin C:
That is everything you’d ever need to know on getting Iron into your little one’s bodies. As you can see it can be very simply done. For example plating up your little one a side of Strawberries with their toast at breakfast time is a perfect and simple way to offer an Iron fuelled meal. I’m certain most of you, like me, are already meeting those Iron needs without even being aware you’re doing so.