What is iron deficiency anemia?
Infants are most often affected by iron deficiency anemia (IDA). Hemoglobin contains iron, which helps red blood cells to deliver oxygen to tissues. Therefore, if the iron in the baby’s body is not enough, the baby will be weak, and his body will practically not resist infections.
If the baby’s parents are attentive, then noticing them with IDA will not be difficult. At the same time, the child has a pale skin color, he quickly finds fatigue and lethargy, in addition, he noticeably lags behind in development in relation to his peers.
The optimal level of hemoglobin in a baby should correspond to 145 grams per liter until the end of the first month of life, and after six months this level should be 110 grams per liter.
The main condition for compliance with the norm of the IDA level is breastfeeding. Because from breast milk, the baby is able to absorb at least half of the total iron content in milk. I must say that in the mother’s milk, iron will be present only when the mother eats meat, eggs, offal, fruits and vegetables, cabbage, beets, apples, tomatoes, dried apricots and pears.
If the child had to be transferred to artificial mixtures, then it is recommended to use only those mixtures that are rich in trace elements and vitamins. At the age of 6 months, those babies who have signs of IDA, it is advisable to feed with mixtures in which the iron content is not less than 0.8 mg per 100 ml of the mixture, and in the second half of the year – 1.1 mg and above.
If a child under 3 years old is often ill, then the hemoglobin level decreases, because part of the iron “goes” to fight the infection. Therefore, it is necessary to check the hemoglobin level in babies more often.
I must say that some parents themselves are to blame for the fact that their babies have iron deficiency. After all, they try to “plant” the baby on veggie food, which directly leads to a lack of iron in the body. So, mashed meat from low-fat veal, beef, rabbit or turkey meat can be given after the baby is one year old. After another six months, you can gradually accustom the baby to cutlets, meatballs, meatballs, etc.
Some young mothers consider the pork or beef liver to be a harmful “organ” that accumulates harmful substances. Meanwhile, one should not be afraid of this, because all products that are already on store shelves have passed sanitary control. And then, if harmful substances have already entered the liver, then from it they will certainly spread throughout the body of the animal and even get into the meat. However, it is not necessary to completely exclude the liver from the children’s menu, because there is enough iron in the liver.
Do not forget about the frequent ventilation of the children’s room. If it contains stale air, then it is no less dangerous for a child’s body than drafts.
After a child reaches preschool age, his menu must include soybeans and products based on them, peas, buckwheat, parsley, spinach, prunes and dried apricots. For vegetables, it is necessary to serve meat or liver, which will increase the absorption of iron contained in vegetables. It is estimated that 22% of iron is usually absorbed from meat, and 11% from fish.
It is not recommended to cook buckwheat with milk. It is better to season it with oil. It turns out milk somewhat inhibits the absorption of iron, which is contained in buckwheat.
If we talk about school-age children, then the risk of getting IDA in them increases several times. After all, schoolchildren walk less often and their food can be considered irregular. And girls during menstruation can lose a glass of blood, which is already the cause of anemia. Usually these girls look pale yellow. A healthy student should have a hemoglobin level of at least 110 grams per liter.
With IDA, the doctor may prescribe vitamin preparations containing iron. You need to know that from such preparations iron is absorbed faster and better than the rate of absorption of iron from food. Therefore, if a child is prescribed such a drug, then it will not work out to be replaced with ordinary iron-containing food.