If you are reading this article, it most probably means that you are looking for ways to treat low iron in kids.
“Does your child get tired very easily? “
“Is your child not growing properly?”
“Does your child have abnormal breathing?”
“Are you having trouble making your child eat?
If your answer to the above questions is a yes, your child might be suffering from low iron. Iron is one of the most important nutrients required for a child’s growth. It helps to transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and deficiency of iron in the body can hamper growth and development adversely.
Children suffering from iron deficiency can also suffer from anemia. Iron deficiency is not the same as anemia. If the Red blood cells and hemoglobin levels of an iron-deficient child drop, it is called Anemia. Around 20% of the kids are prone to have anemia at some point of their life. Anemia is a condition where the body produces insufficient red blood cells which are needed to bring oxygen to body tissues.
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Causes of iron deficiency or low iron in kids
The body can become iron deficient due to various reasons such as:
- Insufficient iron in the diet
- Poor absorption of iron
- Blood loss which is common because of anemia.
- Exclusive breastfeeding beyond 6 months of age and not introducing solid foods.
- Premature or Low birth weight
- High Intake of cow’s milk before two years of age
Low iron in kids is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Pale Skin, hands or lip
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Fast heart beat
- Poor appetite
- Slow growth
- Frequent infections
- Excessive hair fall
- Increased sweating
- Craving for strange foods like dirt
Anemia is caused because of iron deficiency 99% of the time. When kids are introduced to cow milk, they can become iron deficient as cow milk has low iron content. Cow milk is low in iron and can actually prevent iron from being absorbed from the diet.
Importance of Iron for toddlers
Iron is crucial for babies and a developing fetus gets iron from the mother. A fetus receives sufficient amount of iron from the mother during the 3rd trimester. It is the most important carrier of oxygen. The iron in our body is found in hemoglobin. There is enough iron for the baby until he/she is 6 months old. After that, the baby will need to get iron from the solid foods that are added to the diet.
7 Home Remedies through which you can treat low iron in kids:
#1. Give Apple-Beetroot Juice:
Apple is loaded with iron and various other friendly components. Beetroot, on the other hand, has high amounts of folic acid and high quantities of potassium and fiber. In order to give to the toddler, prepare apple and beetroot juice and add some honey for extra flavor to boost iron absorption.
#2. Make your baby eat Pomegranate:
It is known as a super fruit which has many benefits. It is loaded with fiber, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and sugar. It is an excellent source of calcium and iron. It increases the count of hemoglobin and supports healthy blood flow. Give your baby pomegranate juice on an empty stomach.
#3. Include Tomatoes in your baby’s diet:
It is not sufficient to have iron but it is important to absorb iron as well. Tomatoes help in the absorption of iron.
#4. Give Parsley:
It is one of the most popular herbs in the world and it is loaded with folic acid. Parsley provides 5.5 mg of iron per 100 gm. Infants can have it in the form of juice and soups. Also, include more green vegetables in your child’s diet as they contain a lot of iron.
#5. Foods rich in Vitamin C
– Give your child Vitamin C- rich foods, as it helps to bind the iron to the blood. Lack of Vitamin C can result in poor absorption of iron in the blood. Foods that are rich in Vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, papaya, guava, apricots, cabbage, spinach, and onions.
#6. Cook in iron pots – One of the best ways to increase the iron content of foods is to cook food in iron skillets and pots. This increases the iron content of foods, especially tomatoes.
#7. Drink Copper Water – Drinking water stored in copper vessels overnight, helps to replenish the natural nutrients of the body and is also a great remedy for treating hair loss. Make your child drink water stored in copper vessels.
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Is it safe to give iron supplements to a child?
Although the first and foremost way to increase the quantity of iron in your child’s body is to give him/her a healthy diet with lots of iron-rich foods but if your pediatrician finds that your child has extremely low iron reserves; he might prescribe some iron supplements to your child.
There are various types of iron supplements that are available in the market but you shouldn’t start giving just any supplement on your own. Ask your doctor and give iron supplements only if the need arises.
Some iron supplements can cause side effects such as constipation, upset stomach, etc. and if your child gets an iron overdose, it can lead to diarrhoea, vomiting, and weakness. So, whenever giving supplements to your child, always give them under medical supervision only for the prescribed time and keep them out of reach of children.
One important thing to note is that it takes some time for the body to get its iron stores replenished. So, even after you start the above remedies, allow your child’s body some time to show results. Also, taking too much iron can lead to constipation so make sure you give your child enough fiber in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables, to overcome this problem.
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