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nadoja 12-05-2015 10:23 AM

Iron Deficiency Vegetarian Child
Hi. I just got the feed back from my pediatrician that my vegetarian daughter is anemic (Iron deficient). As I am scouring through the internet, I find that my daughter is eating a pretty good diet in regards to iron intake. Here are examples of various parts of her daily menu:
  • Oatmeal cooked in whole milk
  • Fruit consisting of any of the following: grapes, apples, bananas
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly on Sprouted whole grain bread
  • Whole grain crackers and cheese as an afternoon snack
  • plain dry breakfast cereal as a snack
  • Veggie dog as a snack
  • Brown Rice, Black Beans or Chick Peas or Tofu, Broccoli or string beans as a dinner
  • Barilla *Plus* Pasta (complete protein pasta made of semolina and legume flour), olive oil, broccoli or string beans as a dinner

I provide her daily multivitamin supplements too. What I found frustrating that that my daughters intake consists of many iron rich foods. I am feeling a little stumped pertaining to dietary intervention. She refuses spinach. I will be providing an oral iron supplement for the next 6 weeks of directed, but I would like to keep her off the supplement after this episode is over.

Am I missing something here? Has anyone else encountered this? What would you recommend? Thank you so much in advance!

Nazsmum 12-07-2015 05:33 PM

Maybe add some seeds like Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, & sesame seeds.

I know that it is hard to have to add things to kid's diet. Seeds are maybe a little easier?

Oceanspray 12-30-2015 09:34 AM

Can you get her to eat more nuts? Either raw, or baked or cooked into other items?

I have had good success with adding all sorts of things children don't usually like into a delicious smoothie that also has sweet things in it like bananas, frozen fruit, and sometimes natural honey (though that can get too sweet). We also use yoghourt, but you can leave it out, too.

I also suggest adding spirulina selectively to certain things she is eating where it can be added in - again, I put it into the smoothie.

Good luck... have you looked into whether this may be more of a passing issue, due to certain nutritional needs in her development and she is using more iron than usual? I think it is wise to consider a temporary solution and then see how she does, too.

What is her vitamin C intake like? It is really important for her to get the foods that assist with absorption of plant-sourced iron. Here is a useful site I just found with some suggestions (there are tonnes if you google).

Linda on the move 12-30-2015 11:17 AM


Originally Posted by Oceanspray (Post 19198937)
What is her vitamin C intake like? It is really important for her to get the foods that assist with absorption of plant-sourced iron. Here is a useful site I just found with some suggestions (there are tonnes if you google).

What I read was that having vit c at the same meal as the iron helped with absorption. We switched from oatmeal to cream of wheat (which has a higher iron content) and made sure to have a vit rich C fruit (such as a small glass of OJ) with it.

CakeMummy 12-31-2015 11:22 PM

Sorry for the trouble you're having with this we had a vegetarian daughter we could also never shake the iron deficiency without supplements permanently and has since stopped being a vegetarian after 7 years (for different reasons).

It might be worth seeing a more professional food person, I've found nutritionists to be very helpful and a great resource, it does sound like you're doing everything based on what you've covered here so that might be your next option.

One solution we did have some success with was Vitamin C supplements to improve absorption and thus ensuring every single day Vitamin C requirements were met. While I know this doesn't solve your not wanting to use supplements there are a lot of gummy vitaman C options that are chewable out there for kids that don't "feel" like supplements.

nadoja 01-11-2016 03:49 PM

Hi all. Thank you for your feedback. It is much appreciated. I will definitely research and discuss your suggestions.

happyhermit 01-11-2016 04:11 PM

I tend to be anemic, and Floradix herbal iron supplement is a great liquid supplement. It's non-constipating, doesn't taste too bad, and made from natural ingredients. I believe there's a kid-friendly version... hmmm... I haven't looked in awhile, but worth looking into...

AnastasiaP 03-03-2016 11:49 AM

I am anemic for most of my life.

What I found to help me the most with Iron Deficiency Anemia, is to design recipes with good ratio of iron absorption.
I studied all enhancers and inhibitors of the iron absorption process with my SO, and now, few years later, we decided to publish that online.

We made a complete vegetarian guide for increasing iron absorption with 8 chapters, as follows:
  • Chapter 1: Iron Fundamentals
  • Chapter 2: Iron Deficiency Symptoms
  • Chapter 3: Natural Remedies
  • Chapter 4: Iron Absorption Enhancers
  • Chapter 5: Iron Absorption Inhibitors
  • Chapter 6: Recipes for Anemia
  • Chapter 7: Iron Supplements Tips
  • Chapter 8: Case Studies and Resources

You can find the guide here.

Even though it's not focused on children, I wanted to share with you the idea of increasing iron absorption.
On the long run, it has helped me more than any other supplement out there.

I hope this helps you.

tiller 05-18-2016 07:18 AM

Maybe add some nuts and raisins to diet. The diet you provide has a good source of iron. maybe the question to ask is ability to digest the nutrients.

tiller 05-18-2016 07:21 AM

Also, read this interesting - Simmering acidic food like tomato sauce in an iron pot can increase iron content ten folds. That's something new to me.

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