I make an effort to include iron-rich foods in meals and snacks for my kids. Does it always look fancy and well-planned? Of course not. I know how important iron is in a child’s diet (for not only normal growth and development, but to also have energy needed to be a kid!) and I also know how busy life with kids can be. Over time, we’ve found success in quick, easy additions in our diets to include iron. Some are as simple as throwing a small bag of fortified cereal (Cheerios, Life, Kix), dehydrated or dried fruit (raisins or apricots) into the diaper bag for in-case-of-hangry-emergencies.
In the last year, we’ve spent significantly more time at home, making what foods we have on hand more important than ever! I’ve found that if I make sure to have iron-rich foods at home, then I’m way more likely to use them in complementing and completing meals and snacks for my kids. Some of these easy additions are foods like peanut butter, almond butter, eggs, whole-wheat bread, canned beans, dried fruit or dry cereal. With these, my girls love to help put together snacks like peanut butter toast (with a smiley face of raisins) or dry cereal sprinkled on top of yogurt. A few of our favorite (and easy!) meals are French toast (cooking bread into an egg/milk mix with some cinnamon), spinach mixed in with eggs and cheese, or our weekly taco Tuesday (working in beans with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, or ground beef).
In the end, my kids are always more likely to eat iron-rich foods when they are familiar. Watching me eat the same foods, helping prepare the food, or just helping put the food away in the pantry after grocery shopping has helped with this! If anything, reminding myself to ‘keep it simple’ is the best way to add in those iron-rich foods in the day-to-day.
I’m a wife and a mom to three - two girls and the sweetest rescue dog, Duke. I love being home with my two girls and finding new ways to stay busy in this pandemic! I believe in the power of consistency; preventing problems is much easier than treating them!
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Want more tips to get you and your family eating plenty of iron foods? wichealth.org has a free online lesson called Building Healthy Bodies with Iron Foods. Find it on wichealth.org in the Healthy Families category!