Growing children need iron in their diet. Iron is the nutrient needed to make haemoglobin, which is the component of the red blood cells that carries oxygen. Red blood cells circulate throughout the body to deliver oxygen from the lungs to the various parts of the body. If your child’s diet lacks iron, he or she may develop iron deficiency, which will make it difficult for his or her body to make enough red blood cells. As a result, tissues and organs won’t be able to get the amount of oxygen they need.
There are many fruits and vegetables that you can incorporate in your children’s diet to ensure that they will be able to fulfil their daily iron requirement. Here are some of them.
You may have resisted Brussels sprouts as a child, but once you realise how healthy they are, you will be more than inclined to include these veggies in your children’s diet. A cup of Brussels sprouts contain 1.8 milligrams of iron, fulfilling 10% of your daily requirement. Aside from being an excellent source of iron, they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, folate, and fibre. I know this may sound impossible however it’s amazing what games you can play with shapes and dipping sauce with these brilliant vegetables. We often put them on toothpicks and dip them in white sauce or gravy.
Both raw and cooked spinach are excellent sources of iron, but cooking them will make it much easier for the body to absorb their nutrients. One cup of cooked spinach contains more than 6mg of iron. It is also rich in protein, fibre, calcium, and vitamins A and E. Many children don’t like the taste of spinach but the good news is spinach is an easy ingredient to sneak into most of your recipes.
Cooked lentils provide up to 6mg of iron per cup. In addition to that, they are also loaded with fibre that can fill your children’s tummies. Lentils are good for adults, too, as they help lower your cholesterol and keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Another iron powerhouse, apricots, whether raw, canned, cooked, or dried, is a great source of this key nutrient. But if you want your children to a have good dose of iron in their diet, feeding them dried apricots will do the trick. A cup of apricots provide 4mg of iron and when they are dried, they lose their high water and sugar content without losing their key nutrients.
Best eaten fresh, strawberries provide an excellent way for your children to improve their daily iron intake. One pint of strawberries contains 1.5 mg of iron and its high vitamin C content helps their bodies absorb more of the iron they need.