Why is Iron Important for Babies? Did you know that when you don’t have enough iron, red blood cells can become small and pale and cannot carry enough oxygen to your body’s organs and muscles? This is a condition called anemia, and I have been borderline anemic my whole life, but especially so every time I have been pregnant when my hemoglobin levels would drop to worrying levels.
In fact, my hemoglobin and my blood pressure would both be so low that every time I went in for a checkup, I would get asked if I felt like passing out or felt faint at all. It was that bad.
Iron Deficient Anemia
My issue lies in that I simply need to eat more iron-rich foods. After having my fourth child, I was taking an iron supplement for quite some time and my hemoglobin levels are now back to a normal range.
Adults are not the only ones who need iron, though. Due to the fact that I have this issue, my children are already predisposed to a higher risk of the same thing. This is worrisome for me because babies and children need iron for their brains to develop normally.
What are the symptoms of iron deficiency in babies?
According to Gerber, Lack of Iron can lead to Iron deficiency or even to anemia in more severe cases. Depending upon its severity, Iron deficiency can have serious consequences. It’s responsible for a range of problems, including:
- Slower physical growth.
- Delayed motor skills.
- Decreased social behavior.
- Lower learning ability.
- Muscle weakness.
- Digestive problems.
So why is Iron Important for Babies – this is why! I am doing what I can to ensure my kids are getting enough in their diet.
How To Ensure Your Baby Is Getting Enough Iron
The good news is that breast milk naturally contains iron, and most infant formulas are iron-fortified! Once your baby starts eating more solid foods and relies less and less on the bottle or nursing, you will need to be sure to feed a diet that is iron-rich.
Infant Cereal – 90% of Daily Iron Needs!
Why is Iron Important for Babies? The nutrition of Iron-rich infant cereal is an important part of baby’s diet until the age of 2. Among the foods your baby eats, iron-fortified infant cereals are the #1 source of iron, and 2 servings of most infant cereals will usually provide about 90% of your baby’s daily Iron needs.
In addition to an iron-fortified cereal like GERBER CEREALS, you can try these other foods to boost your baby’s daily iron intake:
- Meats: Beef, lamb, pork, veal, liver, chicken, turkey.
- Egg yolks: Do not give egg whites to babies under 1 year old.
- Grains: Whole grain bread, enriched bread, pasta and rice.
Other sources of iron:
- Legumes: chick peas, lentils, dried peas and beans.
- Vegetables: spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green peas, beans.
To help the body absorb even more iron, combine these foods with good sources of vitamin C, such as oranges, tomatoes, and red peppers. For example, serve an iron-fortified breakfast cereal with a glass of orange juice. Or top spaghetti with a meat and tomato sauce.
What we like to do is take the GERBER CEREALS and mix it with some of my son’s favorite flavors of fruit puree. He just loves having this for breakfast!
He is loving all the new flavor combinations he gets to try, I’m happy he is getting all the nutrients he needs!
Why is Iron Important For Babies?
I’m hoping this post helped you learn a bit more about iron and even gave you a few ideas on how to ensure your baby is getting enough.
Leave a comment or send a message on social media to let us know your thoughts!
If you are looking for some of the yummy GERBER CEREALS for your own baby, head to Walmart and grab some today!
This post is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease and is for informational purposes only. Please consult with your doctor for any medical concerns.