- by Dr Gowher Yusuf
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- Jun 01 2017
Tips: Prevent the development of anemia
he effects of Iron deficiency anemia will depend on the duration and severity of the anemia. If left untreated, it may lead to behavioral or learning problems. These may not be reversible, even with later iron supplementation. But in most cases, IDA is preventable by following some basic suggestions:
- Infants younger than 1 year old should drink only breast milk or an infant formula supplemented with iron. It is important for breastfed infants to receive iron-fortified solid foods starting at about 6 months of age.
- Kids under 2 years old should have no more than 24 ounces of cow's milk a day. As noted earlier, milk can inhibit absorption of iron, and drinking too much milk can dampen a child's appetite for other iron-rich foods. In addition, too much cow's milk has been shown to irritate the gastrointestinal tract, which may cause intestinal bleeding — a cause of iron loss.
- Iron-fortified products such as cereal can be a great way to get kids — especially those under 2 years old — to get more iron.
- A variety of foods can provide great sources of iron: lean meats; egg yolks; broccoli, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables; dried peas and beans; blackstrap molasses; raisins; and whole-grain bread.
- Make sure kids or teens on a vegetarian diet get enough iron. Because iron from meat sources is more easily absorbed than iron from plant sources, you may need to add iron-fortified foods to their diet.
- Give your child food containing Vitamin C, this helps in absorption of iron from food sources.
Proper nutrition, which includes a diet rich in iron, is important for all kids. Establishing good eating habits early in life will help to prevent iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia.
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