Toddlers’ relatively high iron requirements mean they’re more vulnerable to iron deficiency if they don’t consume iron rich foods regularly.
If your toddler’s iron levels get too low it can leave them tired and lacking in energy. In a small number of cases, low iron levels can lead to iron deficiency anaemia.
Read more about your toddler’s iron needs, which iron-rich foods you should include in their diet and other ways you can make sure they get enough.
Iron is essential to your toddler’s healthy growth and brain development. It’s needed for the production of haemoglobin in healthy blood; haemoglobin carries much-needed oxygen around the body to your toddler’s developing limbs and tissues. The recommended daily amount of iron for toddlers aged 1 to 3 years is 6.9mg.
Try to include plenty of iron-rich foods in your toddler’s daily diet. The iron in foods such as fish and red meat are most easily absorbed so ideally, a healthy, balanced diet should include at least one serving of meat or fish a day.
Other sources of iron include eggs, wholemeal bread, lentils, beans, and dark green leafy vegetables. If your toddler follows a vegetarian diet, you should up their iron intake by serving at least two iron-rich alternative sources a day.
Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron, so try serving some diluted, unsweetened fruit juice with your toddler’s meal or offering a kiwi fruit for dessert, both are good sources of vitamin C.
Sources of iron:
- 1 tablespoon of spinach 0.6mg
- 1 tablespoon of baked beans 0.6mg
- 20g of chicken breast 0.1mg
- 20g of minced beef 0.5mg
- 1 medium slice of wholemeal bread 0.9mg
- 1 tablespoon of lentils 1mg
- 1 hard-boiled egg 1mg
- 300ml of Aptamil Junior Growing Up Milk 3.6mg
Even with a varied diet, it can be tricky for your toddler to get the recommended amount of iron they need each day. That’s why we’ve created Aptamil Junior Growing Up Milk. Just 300ml a day can provide 40 times the iron found in the same amount of cows’ milk. As well as providing over half of your toddler’s recommended daily iron intake, it also contains our unique blend of GOS/FOS prebiotics which help support your toddler from the inside. Given as part of a balanced diet, the prebiotics, iron and extra vitamin D and C in Aptamil Junior Growing Up Milk will ensure your toddler gets the nutrition they need.
Ensuring your child gets enough Iron
Your toddler needs a wide range of vitamins and minerals to help them develop at this important stage of their growth, which is why a varied weaning diet is important.
But one nutrient that a lot of toddlers are still lacking in is iron. In fact, 8 out of 10 toddlers don’t get enough. Making sure your toddler is getting enough iron can be even more difficult if they’re going through a fussy eating phase.
Read on to find out why iron is so important, how you can use our daily diary to work out if your toddler is getting enough and which iron-rich foods it’s good to include in their diet.
Iron deficiency can be associated with “faddy eating” habits and can occur if your toddler does not eat a wide enough variety of foods, which can lead to a loss of appetite and your toddler only wanting to eat what they want, when they want it.
Iron is an important nutrient which is involved in many functions within the body including brain development. It is an essential part of haemoglobin in the body; this is a red pigment in our blood that allows it to carry the oxygen around the body for energy and growth.
Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron and is found in citrus fruits, e.g. oranges, kiwi fruit, and some vegetables, e.g. peppers. Giving your toddler fruit as a dessert is a good way to increase absorption of iron from their savoury meal.
And if you have any questions on how to make sure your toddler is getting enough iron, our nutrition experts will do their best to help. Call us on 800 64586262 (UAE), 800 897 1901 (KSA), 0097144209489 (Other countries) or via WhatsApp: +971557859608 between the hours of 9am and 6pm Saturday to Thursday.