Ironenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/Iron_enHD_1.jpgIron is an important ingredient needed to make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying part of every red blood cell.iron, hemoglobin, oxygen in the blood, red blood cells, iron deficiency, iron deficiency anemia, iron-deficiency anemia, anemia, anemic, too much iron, iron overdose, too little iron, not enough iron, iron level, iron levels, toddlers, infant formulas, infant formula, breastfeeding, nursing, iron supplements, iron supplement, iron-fortified, fortified, iron-fortified foods, iron-fortified cereal, iron-fortified cereals, fortified with iron, menstruating, menstruation, period, periods, teen athletes, cow's milk, iron absorption, enriched grains, red meat, tuna, salmon, molasses, dried fruits, dried beans, tofu, eggs, dark poultry, high in iron, iron-rich foods, healthy diet, nutrition, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, vitamins and minerals01/20/200508/21/201708/21/2017Mary L. Gavin, MD10/01/2016d4b58ddd-4132-4d3e-bacf-94c06fe5d0e0https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/iron.html/<h3>What Is Iron?</h3> <p>Iron is a mineral found in plants and animals and all living things. It's an important component of <strong>hemoglobin</strong>, the part of red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body. Iron gives hemoglobin the strength to "carry" (bind to) oxygen in the blood, so oxygen gets to where it needs to go.</p> <p>Without enough iron, the body can't make hemoglobin and makes fewer red blood cells. This means tissues and organs won't get the oxygen they need.</p> <p>People can get iron by eating foods like meat and dark green leafy vegetables. Iron is also added to some foods, such as infant formula and cereals.</p> <h3>How Much Iron Do Kids Need?</h3> <p>Depending on their age, kids need different amounts of iron:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Infants who <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/breast-bottle-feeding.html/">breastfeed</a> tend to get enough iron from their mothers until 4&ndash;6 months of age. Around this time, rich foods like fortified cereal and pur&eacute;ed meats are usually introduced. Breastfed babies who don't get enough iron should be given iron drops prescribed by their doctor. Babies given iron-fortified formula do not need added iron.</li> <li>Infants ages 7&ndash;12 months need 11 milligrams of iron a day.</li> <li>Toddlers ages 1&ndash;3 years need 7 milligrams of iron each day. Kids ages 4&ndash;8 years need 10 milligrams while older kids ages 9&ndash;13 years need 8 milligrams.</li> <li>Teen boys should get 11 milligrams of iron a day and teen girls should get 15 milligrams. (Adolescence is a time of rapid growth and teen girls need additional iron to replace what they lose monthly when they begin menstruating.)</li> <li>Young athletes who regularly engage in intense exercise tend to lose more iron and may need extra iron in their diets. People following a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vegetarianism.html/">vegetarian</a> diet might also need added iron.</li> </ul> <h3>What's Iron Deficiency?</h3> <p>Iron deficiency is when a person's body doesn't have enough iron. It can be a problem for some kids, particularly toddlers and teens (especially girls who have very heavy periods). In fact, many teenage girls are at risk for iron deficiency &mdash; even if they have normal periods &mdash; if their diets don't contain enough iron to offset the loss of blood during menstruation.</p> <p>After 12 months of age, toddlers are at risk for iron deficiency because they no longer drink iron-fortified formula &mdash; and, they may not be eating enough iron-containing foods to make up the difference.</p> <p>Iron deficiency can affect growth and may lead to learning and behavioral problems. If iron deficiency isn't corrected, it can lead to <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ida.html/">iron-deficiency anemia</a> (a decrease in the number of red blood cells in the body).</p> <h3>How Can I Help My Child Get Enough Iron?</h3> <p>Kids and teens should know that iron is an important part of a healthy diet. Foods rich in iron include:</p> <ul> <li>beef, pork, poultry, and seafood</li> <li>tofu</li> <li>dried beans and peas</li> <li>dried fruits</li> <li>leafy dark green vegetables</li> <li>iron-fortified breakfast cereals, breads, and pastas</li> </ul> <p>(Note: Iron from animal sources is more easily absorbed by the body than iron from plant sources.)</p> <p>To help make sure kids get&nbsp;enough iron:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Limit the amount of milk they drink to about 16&ndash;24 fluid ounces (473&ndash;710 milliliters) a day.</li> <li>Serve iron-fortified infant cereal until kids are 18&ndash;24 months old.</li> <li>Serve iron-rich foods alongside foods containing vitamin C (such as tomatoes, broccoli, oranges, and strawberries). Vitamin C improves the way the body absorbs iron.</li> <li>Avoide serving coffee or tea at mealtime &mdash; both contain tannins that reduce the way the body absorbs iron.</li> </ul>El hierro y su hijo¿Se ha preguntado alguna vez por qué hay tantos cereales, papillas y leches especiales para bebés que están enriquecidos con hierro? El hierro es un nutriente esencial en la dieta diaria de cualquier niño y es necesario para fabricar hemoglobina, el componente de los glóbulos rojos encargado de transportar oxígeno.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/iron-esp.html/f3ac7803-db3a-4581-87c5-ffaea19a5324
AnemiaAnemia is common in teens because they undergo rapid growth spurts, when the body needs more nutrients like iron. Learn about anemia and how it's treated.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/anemia.html/d59f63cc-1045-4151-87c3-750eb2f414d4
Becoming a VegetarianPeople choose vegetarianism for a variety of reasons. This article describes different types of vegetarianism and provides advice on ways for vegetarians to get all the nutrients they need.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/vegetarian.html/5f669f38-aaba-4625-8686-dbc536b7a46a
Blood Test: Ferritin (Iron)Doctors may order a ferritin test when they suspect kids have too little or too much iron in their bodies.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/test-ferritin.html/8a749966-acaf-40af-8e4f-2e43cf958214
Does Nonfat Milk Provide the Same Nutrients as Whole Milk?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/skinny-skim-milk.html/efe93a3a-a2f5-4989-80c6-67721270427e
Food LabelsLook at any packaged food and you'll see the food label. This nutrition facts label gives the lowdown on everything from calories to cholesterol. Read more about food labels.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/food-labels.html/9fd21fc8-7da9-499f-a517-dcacb9624e24
Formula Feeding FAQs: Starting Solids and MilkFind answers to common inquiries about introducing solids and whole milk to formula-fed babies.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/formulafeed-solids.html/84a9c3c9-3852-4d7b-90d4-b9ab25f97268
Iron-Deficiency AnemiaIron helps the body carry oxygen in the blood and plays a key role in brain and muscle function. Too little iron can lead to iron-deficiency anemia.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ida.html/b81f3bad-4d4d-4db1-8c26-45affb53c115
MineralsJust like vitamins, minerals help your body grow, develop, and stay healthy. Find out more about minerals in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/minerals.html/bc051eed-fcf1-4b88-9b3f-d2c6aa044702
PMS, Cramps, and Irregular PeriodsGet the facts on which period problems are normal and which ones might indicate something's going on.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/menstrual-problems.html/dc8ec33f-7c5e-41eb-a3fb-f7fcb030b6b2
Pregnant or Breastfeeding? Nutrients You NeedLearn which nutrients you need while pregnant or breastfeeding, and easy ways to add them to your diet.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/moms-nutrients.html/5186a8b0-6ccd-4a91-b897-4a71a77c503d
VegetarianismVegetarian diets have become more popular, and many parents may wonder if kids can safely follow a vegetarian diet and still get all the nutrients necessary for growing up healthy and strong.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vegetarianism.html/a0cb7ae3-3945-440e-b7f6-166137d97e57
Vitamins and MineralsVitamins and minerals are nutrients that the body needs to work properly. They boost the immune system, promote normal growth and development, and help cells and organs do their jobs.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/vitamins-minerals.html/7db5e5be-3935-4119-b49b-bb2e8a5ba349
What's Anemia?What does it mean when a kid has anemia? Learn about anemia, why kids get it, and how it's treated in our article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/anemia.html/9888df72-edc2-4c11-8660-bb2c4b682960
When Can Babies Start Drinking Cow's Milk?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cow-milk.html/00537b96-45fd-41a2-8d09-ecd7d8ac2961
When Should Kids Switch to Nonfat Milk?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/start-skim-milk.html/d0eb7cb6-0928-4ae8-8b25-935961279723
Word! AnemiaPeople who have anemia have fewer red blood cells than normal, which can make them feel tired because not enough oxygen is getting to their bodies' cells.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/word-anemia.html/97f395b2-5111-41ac-9447-c2d2e603fa35
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-gastroenterologyAndNutritionWeightManagementkh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-gastroenterologyAndNutritionWeightManagementHealthy Eating & Your Familyhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/nutrition-center/healthy-eating/820bad5b-c255-4034-b617-dc1d9e09ab97Feeding & Eatinghttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/growth/feeding/1300b225-a549-4965-b0de-343866c92c2c