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How do I know if my toddler is getting enough iron in their diet?

Hi everyone,

I am a first-time mom to a 2-year-old toddler and I am worried about whether my child is getting enough iron in their diet. Recently, I noticed that my child has been getting easily fatigued and has been looking a little pale. I have read that iron is crucial for growth and development in children, and I want to make sure that my child is getting enough of it.

I would like to know what foods are good sources of iron for toddlers, and how I can incorporate them into their diet. I have been giving my child some iron-fortified cereals and spinach, but I am not sure if it is enough. Should I consider giving my child iron supplements?

Any advice or personal experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

All Replies


Hi everyone,

I too am a mom to a 3-year-old who is a picky eater and I am always worried about her nutrient intake. Iron has been a concern for me as well, especially since we are a vegetarian household. Initially, I tried to incorporate iron-fortified cereals, tofu and spinach into her meals, but it didn't seem to be enough.

So I reached out to a registered dietitian who suggested that I focus on other sources of iron like lentils and chickpeas, which are also high in protein, vitamins and fibre. She also recommended pairing them with foods high in vitamin C like oranges or strawberries, which can help with iron absorption.

In addition to these dietary changes, I try to avoid feeding my child certain foods like tea, coffee and chocolate as they contain compounds that can inhibit iron absorption. Lastly, I monitor our water intake, as too much water can reduce stomach acid and affect mineral absorption.

Overall, if you're concerned about your child's iron intake, you may want to try incorporating these foods alongside animal-based sources, or talk to a doctor or a registered dietitian for more specific advice.

Good luck!


Hello everyone,

When my child was a toddler, we discovered that they had low iron levels. I was concerned about giving them supplements, so our pediatrician suggested incorporating some iron-fortified foods into their diet.

One item that really helped was infant rice cereal, which was fortified with iron. We also added iron-fortified oatmeal and other cereals, as they were quicker breakfast options. Another food that we focused on was lentils, which were easy to mix into soups, stews, and salads.

To increase the absorption of iron, our pediatrician recommended serving foods rich in vitamin C alongside iron-rich foods. So, we served foods like tomatoes, oranges, kiwi, and red bell peppers with our meals.

To help with absorption, we avoided overly processed foods and high-fiber foods alongside iron-fortified foods. We also limited the consumption of dairy products as they interfere with iron absorption.

Within a few weeks, my child's iron levels improved, and I felt much better knowing that they were getting the nutrients that they needed. As always, it is important to consult your pediatrician before making any dietary changes or giving your child supplements.

Hope that helps!


Hello everyone,

When my child was a toddler, I was also worried about their iron intake. I was hesitant about giving them supplements, so I worked with our pediatrician to identify iron-rich foods that my child would like.

Some foods that I found were pretty popular with my child were raisins, apricots, broccoli, and quinoa. Making bean soup and adding in tomatoes, kale or spinach is also a great way to boost iron intake. We also make sure to include eggs and cheese in her meals, as they are easy options for vegetarian sources of iron.

As a vegetarian, I'm also mindful of making sure my child gets a variety of foods to ensure they are getting enough nutrients overall. So, adding in different kinds of fruits, vegetables, and plant-based proteins can also positively impact their overall health.

Overall, I found that incorporating iron-rich foods into our meals without making a fuss helped me ensure my child's intake. It may take some time, but keep on offering those healthy options and you're on the right track.


Hi all,

When my child was 2 years old, we found out that they were iron deficient. It was tough for my picky eater, but we implemented some changes to boost their iron intake. We started by incorporating iron-fortified cereals, broccoli and spinach, which was helpful in increasing their iron levels within a few months.

To offer more variety, we also tried incorporating red meat and poultry, which was challenging at first, as we're a vegetarian family. But it was worth it as my child began to enjoy it, giving them a boost in both their energy levels and overall health.

When it came to supplementation, we opted for liquid iron drops as they are easier to administer than tablets. We also made sure to space out the supplement a few hours from dairy as calcium can interfere with iron absorption.

It's always a good idea to seek the advice of a pediatrician, as it is possible for too much iron to be dangerous. They can recommend the appropriate amount of iron for your child's age and other specific needs.

I hope this helps!


Hi there,

I had a similar experience with my child when they were around 18 months old. They were always tired and seemed to have trouble keeping up with other kids their age. After speaking with our pediatrician, we found out that they were anemic and needed more iron in their diet.

To incorporate more iron into their diet, we started giving them more foods that were rich sources of iron such as red meat, poultry, fish, and beans. We also made sure to include plenty of foods high in vitamin C such as tomatoes and citrus fruits, which helps the body absorb iron more efficiently.

In addition to these dietary changes, our pediatrician recommended an iron supplement, which we gave our child for several months until their iron levels were back to normal. We also try to limit their consumption of milk, as the calcium in milk can interfere with iron absorption.

I hope that helps! It's always a good idea to speak with a pediatrician to get personalized recommendations for your child's specific needs.

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