You are going to hear a lot about iron in baby's first few years. This is because iron is a crucial micronutrient that helps form hemoglobin, which delivers oxygen and other nutrients throughout the body. Iron also plays a big role in neurodevelopment. And many babies and toddlers aren’t getting enough.
So to make things easier for you, we analyzed foods highest in iron and then whittled down the list to those most easily adapted for babies.
For more on the specific nutrients babies need, see our Nutrient Cheat Sheet for Babies or our First Foods Essentials bundle.
Have a toddler? Check out our guides for Toddlers at the Table.
Fortified infant cereals
Tahini (sesame seed paste)
Here’s the catch: not all iron is equal. Iron from animal sources such as chicken liver, is much more easily absorbed in the body than iron from plant-based foods like lentils and beans. To help baby’s body absorb iron from beans, nuts and other plant-based foods, serve foods high in vitamin C along with them. Red bell peppers and lentils, anyone?
Venus Kalami, MNSP, RD. Pediatric dietitian.
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