Iron Rich Foods

We check your child’s hemoglobin to evaluate for anemia at 1 year and 2 years of age, and at other times if there is a concern. These are the ages when children are at most risk of developing anemia. The test is performed by a toe or finger prick.

"Which babies are at risk for anemia?"

Babies born to mothers who are anemic during pregnancy, premature babies, babies who have been sick a lot during infancy, babies who had their umbilical cord cut right after birth can all be at increased risk of anemia.

"How do you prevent anemia?"

Iron-rich foods is the best way to prevent anemia. Breastfed babies should be started on iron-rich foods at about 6 months of age (see below). Some breastfed babies, especially those on a vegetarian diet, may benefit from an iron supplement starting at 6 months of age.

"What are the symptoms of anemia?"

Sometimes there are no noticeable symptoms with anemia, especially if it is borderline low. Moderate to severe anemia can result in fatigue, irritability, pica (craving to eat nonfood items such as paint chips, chalk, ice, dirt), decreased appetite, pale skin color or delay in motor/cognitive function.

"Does anemia have to be treated if there are no symptoms?"

Iron is important for brain development, and it helps the red blood cells carry oxygen to the body. Decrease iron results in decreased brain development and poor oxygen transportation.

"What iron supplements should I give my baby?"

Fer-in-sol 1 mL per day or Novaferrum Pediatric drops 1 mL per day. Both are 15mg of elemental iron per 1 mL concentration. If you do not plan on supplementing iron, then you will need to give your baby 15mg worth of iron from foods (See below). Brush teeth after iron supplements.

"What foods are rich in iron?"

Vitamin C increases iron absorption while calcium decreases iron absorption. Toddlers on cow’s milk should limit intake to about 2 cups per day to avoid decreased iron absorption.