Header Hero

 

Is your little one getting enough iron?

Is your little one getting enough iron?

April 4, 2015 - By Lola Ross

Iron has many essential roles in the body such as carrying oxygen, maintaining healthy brain function and energy production.

 

Iron is a trace mineral, that plays many essential roles in the body such as carrying oxygen, maintaining healthy brain function and in energy production. Deficiency in children has been linked to reduced cognitive function, delayed development and behaviour problems.  In the UK today, as many as 12% of children in their second year may be iron deficient so it is something worth keeping an eye on with your little one.

Unless a qualified health practitioner has prescribed you iron supplements, topping up iron stores is most efficiently and safely done through eating the right foods rather than with supplements. An important thing to remember is that vitamin C is an essential co-factor in the absorption of iron so, eating vitamin C rich foods such as broccoli, potatoes, or oranges alongside your iron containing foods will help with absorption.

Here are some top iron-containing foods to include in your child’s diet:

  • Lentils
  • Dried figs and apricots
  • Wholegrain rice (e.g. brown basmati rice)
  • Fish
  • Organic meat
  • Wholegrain bread
  • Legumes (e.g. baked beans)

What to do with lentils?

Many parents are often worried that lentils are a difficult food to make tasty for their little ones but have no fear I have a tried and tested yummy lentil recipe for you to try! My mum introduced this dish to me when I was little, now my kids and the rest of the family rate it as one of their favourite meals! Lentils contain fibre, B vits and are also a great source of non-animal protein so can be used as a great alternative to meat.

Tasty Tomato Lentil Dahl

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 level teaspoons of tomato puree
  • 2 cups of red split lentils
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 teaspoon organic vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of finely chopped flat leaf parsley

How to make it:

  1. Rinse the dry lentils thoroughly in cold water several times until water is clear
  2. Place lentils in pot and cover with water, set under a medium heat and simmer for around 15 minutes until cooked, then drain.
  3. Wash some brown basmati rice and cook as per instructions on the packet
  4. Chop the onions and garlic and fry gently in olive oil
  5. Add the tinned tomato’s and tomato puree and vegetable bouillon and mix together under a low heat
  6. Add the lentils to the tomato sauce and cover with a lid – simmer gently for 7 mins
  7. Serve a tablespoon of rice and table spoon of lentils with a teaspoon of fresh parsley on top… yum

Tip – freeze or refrigerate any leftovers

Add comment