It’s the biggest question of our times!
Okay, maybe not the biggest, but it’s a question many Picky Parents ask. And a good one too since iron is the most important mineral in your kiddo’s nutrition.
And here’s why.
Why does my child need Iron
Iron produces hemoglobin - the protein found in red blood cells that distributes oxygen to the rest of the body.
And because of hemoglobin (made from iron, remember!), your kiddo can make healthy red blood cells to give their growing muscles the oxygen they need.
Okay, health class over.
But the reason we bring all this up is because:
Iron is one of the main mineral deficiencies of children in the U.S.
And you know what that means??
Not enough iron ⇒ not enough hemoglobin ⇒ not enough oxygen to growing tissues and muscles.
And when iron deficiency is left untreated, it can lead to iron anemia.
Definitely don’t want that! So let’s cut to the chase.
Does My Kiddo Need An Iron Supplement?
So to answer the question of whether or not to take iron supplements, we need to know if our kiddos are getting enough iron.
And that depends since a child's iron needs change every few years.
In the first year, they’re all set. Babies usually get all the iron they need from their diet.
But it’s those toddler years when things get tricky.
From 1 - 3 years, your kiddo starts to develop preferences which, if they’re like any other kid with taste buds, don’t include iron-rich foods that are good for their growing bodies.
And right around that 2 year mark is when we really see picky eating habits show up. Suddenly it’s buh-bye Mr. Broccoli!
So here are 3 signs your kiddo may be low in iron:
Your child is a very picky eater
They were born premature or had a low birth weight (Increase risk of iron anemia)
- They have symptoms of iron anemia, or your doctor has suggested they are at risk
If your kiddo falls into one of these categories, then there’s a good chance an iron supplement might be just what they need!
How Much Iron Does My Child Need?
So the next question is, “how much??”
And of course, it depends! But here’s a handy dandy chart that can help you decide.
RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE:
0-6 months: infants should receive their needed iron through breastfeeding, or iron-fortified formula.
7-12 months: 11mg per day
1-3 years: 7mg per day
4-8 years: 10 mg per day
9-13 years: 8 mg per day
- 14-18 years: 11mg for boys and 15 mg for girls
What type of Iron Supplement should my kid take?
If you’re ready to start your kiddo on an iron deficiency treatment, then here’s a secret we love tellin’.
Not all supplements are created equal!
That’s right, picking up a bottle of kid’s iron supplements for anemia or deficiency isn’t as easy as it should be.
And that’s because lots of products use cheap forms of iron that can cause problems for your little one’s tummy.
Not only that, they usually have a ton of sugar and junk! Especially those gummies.
Did you know that a vitamin gummy has the same amount of sugar per gram as an Oreo?!
Add the stickiness factor, little teeth and questionable tooth-brushing skills. . .
No wonder some dentists urge parents to steer clear of gummies!
So, besides staying away from gummies, here’s what you should look for when choosing an iron supplement:
- CARBONYL IRON
There are 2 types of iron - Carbonyl iron and Iron salts (ferrous sulfate).
Iron salts are known to cause tummy side effects, so stay away from those. Instead, go with carbonyl iron. It’s absorbed more steadily making it safer, gentler on the tummy, and the preferred type for children supplementation.
- VITAMIN C
Vitamin C is iron’s trusty sidekick! It helps the body absorb iron more effectively. So make sure your iron supplement includes Vitamin C.
- CHILD RESISTANT SAFETY CAP
Iron overdose is the leading cause of childhood poisoning. So keep your kiddo safe by ensuring your iron supplement comes with a child-resistant safety cap!
If your answer to the question, “should my kiddo take iron supplements?” is YES, then make sure to check out Renzo’s Iron Strong.
It contains 9 mg of iron in the form of carbonyl iron with a yummy Oh-Oh Orange taste. And, you guessed it, every Melty Tab of Iron Strong is combined with it’s trusty sidekick - Vitamin C.