Iron is a mineral that our body needs for many of its functions. For example, our blood needs iron to make hemoglobin, which transports oxygen throughout our system. It also helps enzymes to digest food. Plus, according to WebMD, "iron is necessary to maintain healthy cells, skin, hair and nails." When you don't have enough iron in your body, not only will you look horrible, you'll also feel weak, forgetful and maybe even stupid (you know how sometimes you do dumb things even though you know you're a smart person haha?). That's what happens if you're an adult.
Because they're in rapid growth phases all the time, our children—especially infants and toddlers—need lots of iron, even more iron than we adults need! If our kids are iron deficient, they can suffer delayed motor and mental function. In short, when our kids are anemic, they may grow up slow and stupid. Scary!!!
I got scared because my kids don't eat meat often. Meat is the biggest source of iron. My boys like carbs (rice, bread and noodles) and milk and cereals. I checked our cereal boxes for iron content and all of them are iron-fortified (Nestlé Koko Krunch and Nestlé Cookie Crisp both have 14mg per half cup, Kellogg's Coco Pops has 5mg per half cup). That's great! Vito and Iñigo need about 7mg a day!
|Chart from Wholesome Baby Food. Read more about iron and your baby at their site.|
Of course, I'd rather they get their iron from not sweet food (breakfast cereals are too sugary). Heck, I'd rather they get their iron from real food! Here's a list of iron-rich food that I got from Kelly Mom:
Actually, with Iñigo, there's no problem. That baby will eat anything so I give him chicken, eggs, beef and pork from my plate. Plus, he has the fantabulous benefit of still exclusively breastfeeding. Since I take Sangobion iron pills, my breast milk is iron-fortified. Iron from breast milk is more easily absorbed than iron from cow's milk and formula. Wholesome Baby Food says this:
So, thanks to my Sangobion-fortified breast milk, that takes care of Iñigo. With Vito, it's a battle to make him eat non-carb, iron-rich food. So far, I'm relieved that he gets his iron from iron-fortified cereals but it will definitely be my mission now to get him to eat meat!
I found a list of how to increase iron in our kids' diet at Science of Mom. I hope you can also share how you make sure your babies' diet is iron rich!