I have a 15 yrs old daughter with low iron. I cant get her to eat meat and is a very picky eater. I have started her on iron supplements, but is there any suggestions to what other foods I can give her to help bring up her iron?


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Some iron foods need to be consumed with vitamin C rich foods in order to make the iron more fully available to the body. For example, eating a spinach salad with oranges or strawberries in it...

"Getting all the iron you need from food can be difficult, particularly because it isn't always absorbed well.

An iron supplement is best absorbed on an empty stomach, but for some, it causes stomach upset. If this is the case, then take it with food, or half an hour after a meal.

There are certain foods that will inhibit iron absorption so you should avoid taking the supplement with any of them, even though it usually takes large amounts of the offending food to interfere. Some of the basic foods that will do this are: oxalic acid found in spinach and phosphates found primarily in milk, dairy products and egg whites. Also many sodas, phytates in beans and tannins in tea and coffee can interfere with iron absorption.

Vitamin C will enhance the absorption of iron many fold. However, for it to do so, it must be taken simultaneously with the iron. Both vitamin C and iron must be present together in the intestine for the positive effect to occur. That is why it is a good idea to drink orange juice with your iron fortified cereal in the morning or to eat broccoli with your meat.

For maximum absorption of your iron supplement, the ideal way to take it is on an empty stomach, swallowed down with a glass of vitamin C-rich juice, such as orange juice -- or a vitamin C-enriched juice of any variety. "




View replies by

Abby - posted on 03/07/2009




I have a 17 year old daughter that has low iron as well and she is a very "selective eater". My suggestion on foods with iron are iron fortified cereal, beans (especially kidney, pinto and chickpeas), peas, raisins, apricots, molasses, chicken and whole grain breads.  Also, make sure she gets enough vitamin C, because that helps in the absorption of iron.  Hope these suggestions help.  Abby M. from Michigan.

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