Why Do Children Need Iron?
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Iron is one of the many micronutrients important for a healthy life. It plays an important role in the child’s growth. Most of the developing nations have witnessed a widespread deficiency of Iron in infants and young children and the way that affects their holistic growth in various forms. So, let’s take a look at why children need Iron:
1. For A Healthy Brain1
It has been scientifically proven that infants and children need Iron for a healthy brain development. Iron deficiency during the growing years can adversely affect the child’s metabolism, myelination, neurotransmission, and gene and protein profiles. It is imperative then, to include Iron-rich foods and if required, Iron supplements in their diet during various stages of growth.
2. For Making Haemoglobin2
Iron deficiency can lead to a condition called anaemia wherein the child’s growth slows down, and he/she experiences constant weakness. This is because Iron is required for the formation of haemoglobin - a component of Red Blood Cells (RBC) that is responsible for carrying oxygen to various parts of the body.
3. For Proper Cognitive, Motor And Other Skills3
Studies have shown that babies suffering from Iron-deficiency anaemia between the ages of 6 months to 24 months have under-developed cognitive and motor developmental skills. It also puts them at a risk of developing poorer socio-emotional behaviour and neurophysiological development in the short and long-term
Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency in Kids4
The signs and symptoms of an Iron deficiency in your child can be quite subtle during the initial stages. However, if you pay close attention you might be able to detect the early signs of Iron deficiency in your child. The symptoms include pale skin, lack of appetite, slower weight gain, irritability or moodiness, tiredness, and lethargy.
In growing children, the deficiency reflects in the form of poorer concentration and shorter attention span leading to poor academic performance. Moreover, Iron deficiency has also been associated with impaired neurocognitive development and immune function among young children. Some studies have found a correlation between Iron deficiency and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) wherein the child gets easily distracted, is always restless, and finds it difficult to perform simple sensory-cognitive tasks like following directions.
Prevalence Of Anaemia In Indian Children Aged 6 To 59 Months8:
|% of children suffering from severe anaemia
|Total % of children suffering from anaemia
Food Items That Contain Iron9
There’s no need to worry! You can easily supplement your child’s Iron needs through diet by including the below mentioned food items:
- Various kinds of meat like Beef, Lamb, Pork, Liver, Chicken, Turkey
- Legumes like Chickpeas, Lentils, Dried Peas, Beans
- Vegetables like Spinach, Green Peas, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts,
- Other food items such as Eggs, Fish, Grains and Cereals
By ensuring that children consume Iron-rich food, you ensure their healthy and normal growth. You can also supplement your child’s Iron requirements by incorporating a tasty and nourishing beverage such as milk with Horlicks into their daily routine. Health drink for kids available in two delicious flavours – Horlicks Classic Malt and Horlicks Chocolate Delight, Horlicks is packed with a wide range of vitamins, minerals and Iron, that support your child’s growth and development