Iron Rich Foods For Infants And Toddlers

Both of my kids were fairly anemic as infants because of low iron. It is fairly common, especially for breast fed babies and showed up around when my kids started eating solid foods.

With our first child (our son) it was an overwhelming time. We ended up having a bad experience with our pediatrician that over prescribed the iron, enough that could have sent him to the emergency room. We ended up finding a new pediatrician who was wonderful and worked with us to provide more iron through his diet while also supplementing.

To no surprise, it happened again with our daughter. She was not as severe but we did have to offer a multivitamin with iron.

All this to say, I did a lot of research and worked really hard at making iron rich meals for our son. With our daughter I was less stressed about it but still referred to this list as a guide.

So I thought I would share what foods we served as well as some easy meal ideas. These are great food ideas in general, so hopefully they are helpful if you are looking to add some variety to your infant or toddlers meal rotation!

Meal Ideas

+ Smoothie: greens, fruit, almond milk
+ Almond butter sandwich with cut strawberries
+ Ice pops: leftover smoothie in ice molds with popsicle stick
+ Oatmeal with fruit, raisins, or nut butter (can serve in a reusable pouch)
+ Oatmeal muffins - we love these muffins and I would often swap the zucchini for spinach

Iron Rich Foods

+ Sweet potatoes
+ Beef
+ Chicken
+ Turkey
+ Spinach
+ Parsley
+ Brown rice
+ Quinoa
+ Kidney beans
+ Beans
+ Egg
+ Tomato
+ Pork
+ Apricots
+ Prunes
+ Kale
+ Dried fruit: raisin, apricot, date
+ Iron-fortified oatmeal
+ Peas
+ Nut butter
+ Smoothie (can add peanut butter)

Foods With Vitamin-C (helps absorb iron)

+ Citrus Fruits
+ Tomato
+ Potatoes (including instant)
+ Broccoli
+ Melons
+ Tangerines
+ Orange
+ Peppers
+ Strawberries

Foods That Interfere With Iron Absorption

+ Caffeine (for nursing)
+ Chocolate (for nursing - do not have one hour before nursing)
+ Dairy products

I would give the iron supplement at breakfast time and make sure to not serve any dairy. Then I could freely offer milk or cheese at other times of day (especially helpful when transitioning from nursing to cow's milk).