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Over the past few months I have had the pleasure of meeting so many pregnant Mommas who have been following Baby Led Feeding for a while and using my recipe to feed their toddlers. I wanted to write a post to answer any questions you may have about iron rich foods for your children that you can also get added benefit from too.

Iron for Babies and Toddlers

Iron is such an important nutrient in your little ones diet as it is needed to make red blood cells that deliver oxygen throughout the body. It is also essential for healthy brain development. The HSE recommend your toddler gets 8mg of iron each day and with iron deficiency in under three year olds on the rise it is so important to ensure that you are giving them all the iron they need to grow up healthy and strong!

The most easily absorbed iron is called heme-iron which is found in meat, fish and eggs. The other form or iron is called non-heme iron which comes from plants and this iron can be better absorbed if eaten with foods that contain vitamin C – for example oranges or berries if given at the same meal.

Heme Iron-Rich Foods

  • Beef
  • Sardines
  • Dark meat of chicken
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Eggs

Non Heme Iron-Rich Foods

  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables – Kale, Spinach, Broccoli
  • Raisins
  • Hummus
  • Fortified breads and cereals
  • Quinoa
  • Beans and Lentils

As vitamin C helps with iron absorption pair non-heme iron foods with produce full of vitamin C. So for example Hummus served with a side of strawberries or raspberries or a little bowl of quinoa served with chopped up spinach and pomegranate dressing (juice 1/2 lime, Juice 1/2 pomegranate + seeds from the other half mixed with a dash of coconut aminos or soy sauce and half teaspoon of maple syrup to sweeten).

Iron for you lovely pregnant Mommas.

Just like your little toddlers you need to ensure you are getting lots of iron rich foods into your diet too. During pregnancy extra iron is need to transport oxygen to your new little growing baby.

When I was pregnant on Oscar even though I was eating really well I started to feel run down and really lethargic. He was almost 10lbs when he was born so i’m sure he was taking all the iron from the good foods I was eating. My doctor recommended that I take Spatone as it is really gentle on the tummy and didn’t have the unwanted side effects of constipation too. Let’s face it – there is enough to be dealing with in pregnancy.

I got into a habit each morning of making myself an iron rich smoothie filled with kale, spinach or beetroot and added in some vitamin C rich fruits too like berries and citrus fruit to aid with the absorption, then whizzed up the sachet of Spatone into it and voila a super healthy, iron rich smoothie perfect for you and your growing bump.

My Top 5 Iron Rich Recipes for you and your little one.

Healthy Beetroot and Berry Smoothie Baby Led Feeding.

Very Berry & Beetroot Super Smoothie

Filled with iron rich veggies and vitamin C so perfect as is for your little baby or toddler. If you are pregnant and taking a supplement add Spatone to the Mommy smoothie only.

Find the recipe here: Very Berry and Beetroot ‘Super Smoothie’

Teenie Tiny Baby Meatballs

Made using iron rich beef and served in a yummy tomato based sauce.

Find the recipe here: Teenie Tiny Baby Meatballs

Black Quinoa with Tuna Bites Baby Led Feeding.

Quinoa and Tuna Bites

Quinoa is a source of non-heme iron and paired with tuna make a yummy nutritious meal.

Find the recipe here: Quinoa and Tuna Bites

Salmon Fish Cakes

Salmon is a great source of heme iron. For extra goodness, serve these with a side of broccoli or sautéed spinach.

Find the recipe here: Salmon Fish Cakes with Avocado and Lime Dressing

Veggie Bread with Hummus

Hummus is a good source of non-heme iron as is this bread which is filled with green leafy veggies. Serve this with a side of chopped cherry tomatoes or berries.

Find the recipe here: Veggie Bread with Hummus

First foods broccoli first foods for baby led weaning broccoli Fussy eaters Starting baby led weaning

Writen by Aileen Cox Blundell - number one bestselling author, award winning blogger and Mum of 3 kiddies who all eat their veggies.

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