Even though we believe in a balanced diet, there are times when we want to pay attention to certain nutrients because a lack of them can be motivating for a challenge. During exam fever, I decided to write about "iron" and sharbat faulad, a nutrient that can definitely contribute to a child's growth and overall performance! I am not talking about deficiency in children whose households are at risk of malnutrition due to loss of access, these are children from well-off families! Evaluations of studies in middle- and high-income families show that "anemia" due to iron deficiency is known to occur in 14% to 88%! Many adolescent females are also prone to iron deficiency during puberty. The Hindu (March 9, 2013) quoted a national family health survey as saying that one in every adolescent girl suffers from anemia! So, this is a problem that can occur in our households too!

Why does this happen and why is iron so important?

Everyone probably knows the answer to the first question - because kids these days often tend to eat extra "energy foods" (empty energy) that are not "diet". Iron is a nutrient needed to make hemoglobin (red blood cells), which carries oxygen in the blood. red blood cells circulate to a specific place in the body to provide oxygen. So, if your child is not getting enough iron, his skeleton is no longer getting enough oxygen to perform its normal functions. this can manifest itself in loss of strength, rapid fatigue and even an inability to concentrate and learn!

Iron is important for the mental development and progress of children. And you can take iron in the form of sharbat faulad. Even a relatively mild form of this deficiency can lead to poor performance, which manifests itself in reduced physical workability (poor stamina for play), low productivity at university and, in older children, reduced concentration! children who were anemic in infancy may have impaired scores on tests of language and motor skills, equating to a five to ten point deficit in IQ! sooner or later, the dreaded iron triumph comes with weakened immunity and children may be more susceptible to infections. this is why it is so important that teens and children get enough iron in their daily iron reduction plan.

What are the common symptoms of iron deficiency anemia?

Fatigue or weakness



Complaints of dizziness or vertigo



Frequent infections

Symptoms do not appear immediately as the body's iron stores are gradually depleted, but as the anemia progresses some of these symptoms will start to appear. So, if you are concerned about your child's fashionable behavior, it may be worth testing their iron levels and contacting a doctor if your child is experiencing any of these symptoms. A simple blood test is all that is needed to check the iron status and possibly prescribe iron supplements.

Iron in the daily diet

The recommended intake for children aged 4-9 years is approximately 13-16 mg of iron and for young adults 21-28 mg. This may not seem like much and you may be surprised to learn that the frame requirement is much lower, only 0.5 mg for children and 1.5 mg for young adults! Our diet cannot even meet this low need because the iron in our reduction plan is poorly absorbed. So, there is a big difference between what is recommended and what is simply needed! Iron from meat sources, called "heme iron", is better absorbed by the body than iron from plant sources. So, if your family habits allow for a meat-based diet, you can rest easy. just make sure your child eats meat-based meals 2-3 times a week or as needed.

Other ingredients that are good sources of iron are:

Eggs - if your toddler doesn't eat meat but does eat eggs, this will help; 2 eggs can provide about 7-12% of the recommended iron intake depending on the age of the child.

Legumes like rajma, beans (lobia), soybeans, dried peas, horse gram and lentils.

Dried fruits including dates; date syrup in milk, cereals

Almonds and cashew nuts

Unseasoned whole leafy vegetables - spinach/palak/keerai/soppu

Fortified cereals/wheat - this is not high on my list as the form of iron used in processed foods is not always absorbed by the body without problems. Then you can take iron in the form of sharbat faulad. While it is ideal for the product as it no longer changes the taste and color, this is not necessarily true for our framework, unless the food manufacturer claims to use "multiple sources of iron"!

Tips for increasing iron intake or absorption

If your child likes milk, limit their consumption to no more than 700ml as excess calcium can interfere with iron absorption.

Iron-rich foods should be combined with foods containing vitamin C, such as oranges/orange juice.