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How to ensure your toddler is getting enough iron in their diet

Iron is an essential mineral in toddlers’ diets. Here’s how to make sure your little one is eating a varied, balanced diet to get the iron they need.

iron rich foods

The importance of iron

Toddler’s iron requirements are relatively high compared to those of fully-grown adults. In fact, toddlers aged one to three years need around four-and-a-half times more iron than an adult man every day relative to their size. Because toddlers’ iron requirements are high, they need to eat foods containing iron on a regular basis

There are two types of dietary iron – ‘haem’ and ‘non-haem’. Haem iron is found in meat and fish, and it is well-absorbed by the body. Non-haem iron, which is less well-absorbed, is found in green leafy vegetables, beans, pulses and grains.

Some sources of iron include:

Haem iron:

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Lean Beef
  • Lean Pork
  • Liver

Non-haem iron:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Forrtified breakfast cereals
  • Dhal/cooked lentils
  • Eggs
  • Dried apricots
  • Chickpea hummus
  • Bread
  • Porridge
  • Tofu
  • Banana
  • Potato

So that your toddler gets enough iron every day, encourage them to eat two portions of meat-based protein, or, if they don’t eat meat, three portions of iron-containing vegetable proteins.

Ideas for toddler meals and snacks containing iron

So that your toddler gets enough iron every day, encourage them to eat two portions of meat-based protein, or, if they don’t eat meat, three portions of iron-containing vegetable proteins. Meat-based meal and snack ideas that contain iron include: lamb or beef casserole, beef stroganoff, jambalaya, thinly-sliced chicken, ham or liver, mashed sardines or tuna pasta, and liver paté on toast. Vegetarian meals or snacks could include lentil dhal, baked beans or scrambled eggs on toast, broccoli frittata, kidney bean stew or hummus.

fruit snacks

Fruit snacks containing iron could include bananas, dried fruit such as figs, apricots, prunes and sultanas with sliced pineapple or tangerine segments. And even the humble digestive biscuit, served topped with some sliced strawberries or mango, can be a source of iron – lovely.

A balanced diet for growing toddlers with Aptamil Growing Up milk

Aptamil Growing Up milks are tailored to your toddler’s stage of development.

Aptamil with Pronutra+ Growing Up milk 1-2 years contains a unique blend of ingredients nutritionally tailored for your toddler, including iron for normal cognitive development as part of a varied, balanced diet. It comes in a range of formats from powder to ready-to-drink Growing Up milk, including a resealable one-litre pack and a handy 200ml carton for when you are out and about.

Aptamil Profutura Growing Up milk is Aptamil’s most advanced Growing Up milk formulation yet. Inspired by 40 years of breastmilk research, and nutritionally tailored for toddlers from one to two years, it contains specific nutrients to support your toddler, as part of a varied, balanced diet. Aptamil Profutura Growing Up milk contains iodine which contributes to normal growth of children, and iron to support normal cognitive development.

Source: The Huffington Post UK

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