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Iron – a key part of your toddler’s diet

Iron supports normal cognitive development and the recommended daily intake of iron for toddlers aged 1 to 3 years is 6.9mg. A lack of iron can lead to anaemia, which can affect energy levels.

For such an important nutrient, iron can be surprisingly hard for the body to absorb. So how do you help your toddler get enough of it? A good start is to serve up iron-rich foods every day. The iron found in meat and fish is most easily absorbed by the body. 

There are lots of other sources too, including:

  • beans and lentils
  • dark green vegetables like spinach and broccoli
  • wholemeal bread
  • fortified breakfast cereals
  • dried fruit such as apricots, figs and prunes

A top tip for getting more iron

Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron more effectively, so it’s a good idea to serve some fruit alongside iron-rich dishes.

Giving your toddler some diluted, unsweetened fruit juice with meals is another option for a vitamin C boost that will help to up their iron absorption.

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