Our bodies need iron to make hemoglobin and myoglobin, which carry oxygen from the lungs through the blood to other parts of the body. Children need iron to grow during their growing years, and a deficiency in it leads to anemia or iron deficiency. Let find out These Best Iron Rich Foods For Your Kids below.
These Best Iron Rich Foods For Your Kids
Benefits of iron for children
Humans, like most other creatures on earth, need iron because it plays an important role in a number of complex biological processes, the main one being hematopoiesis, a process that produces cells. red blood cells in the body.
- Iron binds to oxygen in hemoglobin, allowing oxygen to be transferred from the lungs to other parts of the body.
- It also allows the conversion of blood sugar into energy.
- Iron is essential for physical and brain development in children and infants.
- It is important for the normal functioning of the immune system and overall cognitive development in children.
- When an individual is recovering from illness or disease, iron is needed for the production of enzymes such as amino acids, new tissue cells, neurotransmitters, and hormones.
- Iron also helps you get more energy after a strenuous physical activity or exercise.
Best iron rich foods for kids
Our bodies cannot produce iron on their own, which requires us to consume it from other sources. There are many sources of iron, but natural sources are safer than iron supplements for children. Iron rich foods are divided into two basic categories as heme foods and non heme foods.
Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin, which is why it is mainly found in animal products like meat and poultry. Iron in animals is often attached to what is known as a heme protein, and hence the name. Heme iron is more easily absorbed by the body with an absorption rate of 7 to 35%, compared to non heme iron.
Poultry and eggs
Poultry, especially dark meat, is a good source of iron for children. If your child doesn’t like eating beef or pork, feeding them small amounts of chicken or eggs in their meals will still ensure that they get the recommended amount of iron each day.
Including poultry in your daily meals can increase the amount of iron your body absorbs. Chicken liver is one of the best sources of iron for children 75gm contains 9.2mg of iron, helping your child get enough iron needed each day.
Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach
Among the foods that do not contain iron, green leafy vegetables such as beets, kale, broccoli and spinach are all good sources of iron for children. 100g of spinach contains 2.7mg of iron, while the same amount of kale only gives you 1.5mg of iron. Broccoli and turnips may provide less iron with each having less than 1 mg of iron per 100gm, 125ml of beetroot has 1.5mg of iron while cooked chickpeas have 1.3mg of iron per 100gm. The best way to get the most iron from these foods is to cook some of them together, rather than cooking them separately.
Oatmeal and cream of wheat
Among grains, oats have a good amount of iron. Iron fortified oatmeal has more iron, with every 100g of oatmeal providing you with 6mg of iron. One bowl of oatmeal a day covers more than 60% of the daily value for your child.
Likewise, cream of wheat can provide almost the entire daily value of iron your child needs. One serving of cream of wheat or one 100g of cooked cream of wheat gives you 11 mg of iron. However, because it provides non heme iron, your body may not absorb all of it. So, 100gm of cooked cream of wheat may not provide 11 mg of iron for the body.
Seafood is one of the other meats that are rich in iron. Fish, oysters, clams have the highest amount of iron in seafood. While oysters contain 7 mg of iron per hundred grams, clams contain 28mg of iron per 100gm.
The amount of this mineral varies from fish to fish. Scallops, shrimp, salmon and tuna are also excellent sources of iron. A cooked tuna or salmon sandwich once a week can be considered a good source of iron.