It is crucial to ensure that children, especially toddlers get the required amount of iron necessary for their growth and development during the initial years. Iron is a mineral that helps in delivering oxygen to cells in the body. Iron deficiency could affect a child’s brain development and lead to other health issues.
The best way to make sure your kid gets a necessary amount of iron (9mg-11mg) is by feeding them foods with rich iron content. It can become a daunting task as kids tend to be picky eaters. We have listed out five iron-rich tiffin ideas for kids in this post.
1. Beans and Lentils
Lentils are a good source of iron for vegetarians. Make lentils tasty by adding some chopped vegetables. Adding tomatoes will increase the absorption of the iron easier for the body. Bisi Bele Bhat with colorful vegetables will make good tiffin for the kids.
2. Meat, Fish, Poultry
Not all children like to eat meat. Some find it chunky and hard to chew. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Make new food dishes using chicken or meat liver as they have higher iron content than other parts. We never know what the fussy eaters will end up loving. Chicken and fish cutlets are tasty and easy to pack in a tiffin box.
Eggs are a good source of iron, especially the egg yolk. Serve eggs in various ways to make them attractive and exciting to eat. Scottish eggs, poached eggs, bell pepper omelets are some of the tasty tiffin ideas. You can start feeding your kid with eggs from an early age to help them develop a taste. As one of the iron-rich foods for babies, making eggs a regular part of their diet will provide their body with a portion of the required amount of iron.
4. Green Leafy Vegetables
Leafy vegetables are a rich source of iron. Spinach, kale and fenugreek are some examples. Cooked leafy vegetables make it easier for the body to absorb the iron. You add spinach to gravies or prepare green pasta or rice to include these in your child’s diet.
5. Nuts, Seeds, Dry Fruits
Children usually love flavored nuts. Add a handful of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds, etc. as a snack item in your child’s lunch box. Raisins, dried apricots, dried fruits can be used as candies. Include a homemade granola bar in their tiffin. It is easy to eat and tastes good.
To absorb most of the iron from iron-rich foods, combining them with food items with high Vitamin C will help. Milk is said to negatively impact iron absorption. Do not offer kids milk after feeding them iron-rich foods. The body compared to heam iron (available in meat and poultry) less absorbs Non-heam iron (available in vegetarian foods). So, parents will need to take extra care to ensure that their children get the required supply of iron through their diet.