Iron For Tots: A Comprehensive Guide to Kids’ Nutrition

Does your child throw tantrums while eating food? Is your child a picky eater and doesn’t eat well-balanced meals? Are you worried about how they will receive proper nutrition? It is a major concern for many parents nowadays. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

Do you know? Iron plays a pivotal role in various physiological functions, making it essential for your child’s well-being. We all need iron to produce hemoglobin. Breastfed kids get their iron from milk, and infants usually get it from formulas. But what about toddlers? How will they get their iron? Through healthy food? Yeah, but it is a challenging task to feed your kids iron-rich food. Here comes our savior – Iron supplement. 

Find out why your kids need iron supplements, how much they need, and the safe types for kids:

How Much Iron Does Your Children Require?

Make sure to feed your child the right amount of iron, or else it can be toxic. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue, weaken immunity, and impair cognitive function. You can incorporate iron-rich food into your child’s diet, including lean meats, beans, fortified cereals, and more. Regular check-ups with a pediatrician and a nutritious diet ensure your child gets the right amount of iron for optimal growth and well-being. The amount of iron a child needs depends on their age, sex, medical condition, and diet. Not all kids require the same amount of iron. Here’s the amount of iron your child needs:

  • If your child is between the ages of 1 and 2 years, you should feed them 7 milligrams of iron per day.
  • Children aged 4 to 8 years should take 10 milligrams of iron per day.
  • Feed your child 8 milligrams of iron in a day if he/she is 9 to 13 years old. 

Keep in mind to feed your children with the right amount of iron for better growth and development. If your child is a picky eater, you can switch to iron supplements to fulfill their iron intake needs. 

Why Does Your Child Need Iron Supplements?

To address or prevent iron deficiency, pediatricians often recommend iron supplements. Iron deficiency is a common issue affecting many children in the US. Symptoms of iron deficiency in children include fatigue, pale skin, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Those at a higher risk of developing iron deficiency include children with poor dietary habits, specific health conditions, and premature babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that infants exclusively provided with breast milk should be fed an iron supplement of 1 milligram for every kilogram of body weight starting at 4 months. 

Nowadays, it is daunting to fulfill your children’s iron needs with just a well-balanced diet. Iron supplements for kids are necessary. From liquid drops to tasty chewable iron supplements, there are a lot of varieties for better ingestion and digestion. Let’s read about each type of iron supplement in detail below:

Five Types of Iron Supplements For Kids

Don’t make the mistake of feeding your child iron supplements made for adults. Those supplements contain far too much iron, which is not good for your child. Some adult supplements provide around 100 milligrams of iron per dose. Luckily, there are many supplements available for kids. They are specifically produced, keeping kids’ health and iron needs in mind. 

Under your doctor’s supervision, you can give your child liquid, tablets, or chewable iron supplements. But the question is, what is the difference? Let’s explore: 

  • Liquid Drops

One of the easiest ways to feed your baby iron supplements is through a dropper. Also, supplements in liquid form absorb well and work wonders. Your child will not have to swallow a pill. Moreover,  using a dropper for precise dosage makes feeding your child with essential nutrition remarkably convenient. All you have to do is squeeze out the liquid as per dosage and feed your child. The dropper comes with an iron supplement bottle. 

  • Chewable 

Children love chewable supplements. It gives them the feel of chewing candy, which usually comes in fruity flavors. Parents who don’t want to deal with measuring out liquid supplements can opt for children’s chewable iron supplements. They are flavorful, sweet, and nutritious. These supplements are the most child-friendly options to promote optimal growth and development in children.