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How much iron does a 1 year old need?

  1. #1
    Viviangugu is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    How much iron does a 1 year old need?

    Hi, my 13 months old boy has been wholely breastfed and has started on solids since 6 months. As I haven't fed him any formula so far and don't particularly wish to now, I am worried that he isn't getting enough iron. Does anyone know how much iron are toddlers supposed to take and are there any moms out there who haven't fed their kids any formula and they are doing just fine?


  2. #2
    capital is offline Banned
    Join Date
    May 2004

    It really depends on how much Iron your child is getting through food like iron fortified infant cereals and meats. Both my children were exclusively BF until 6 months as well. My first was mildly anemic so the Dr. suggested .5 ml iron infant iron drops. I don't remember off hand the concentration of the bottle. My second ( he is 1.5years now) does not eat much meat and never eats cereal so I sometimes give him iron as well. You can always have the blood test done and them you will know if your child is getting enough iron or not.

  3. #3
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Discovery Bay, Hong Kong

    Hi- my son was breastfed until he was 10 mnths, then had follow on milk for two months and now drinks only cows milk.
    I have never given him an iron supplement. I did think about it- but our Dr told us it isn't necessary unless the child has an iron deficiency.

  4. #4
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Hong Kong

    I have known lots of children who were breastfed exclusively and then started solids without ever having formula (all four of mine included) who have never needed iron supplements.

    At some point toward the end of the first year, babies will gradually begin to need more iron than that provided by breast milk alone, so offer your baby foods naturally rich in iron and vitamin C as he begins to eat solids. If there is any question of anaemia, get a blood test - if baby's haemoglobin levels are OK then there is no reason for additional iron in the diet.

    Most case of anaemia in breastfed children is because the mother is also anaemic. So if it turns out your child needs extra iron get your own iron levels checked too.

    La Leche League recommends that babies be offered foods that are naturally rich in iron, rather than iron-fortified foods.

    Foods that are high in iron include:
    • breast milk
    • winter squash
    • sweet potatoes
    • prune juice
    • meat & poultry (beef, beef & chicken liver, turkey, chicken)
    • mushrooms
    • sea vegetables (arame, dulse), algaes (spirulina), kelp
    • greens (spinach, chard, dandelion, beet, nettle, parsley, watercress)
    • yellow dock root
    • grains (millet, brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, breads with these grains)
    • blackstrap molasses (try adding a little to cereal or rice)
    • brewer's yeast

    High-iron foods to save until the end of the first year or later:
    • dried beans (lima, lentils, kidney)
    • chili con carne with beans
    • tofu
    • egg yolks
    • grains (cooked cracked wheat, cornmeal, grits, farina, bran, breads with these grains)
    • tomato
    • dried fruit (figs, apricots, prunes, raisins)
    • meat (pork)
    • shellfish (clams, oysters, shrimp)
    • tuna, sardines

    Warning: Some of the foods listed above are not suitable for babies. Dried fruits should not be given to babies under a year old, due to the choking hazard. Also, pork, fish, shellfish, wheat, citrus fruits and eggs are highly allergenic and may not be suitable for babies under a year or who have a family history of allergies.

    Best wishes,

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