Iron Deficiency Anemia in Children

Iron Deficiency Anemia in Children

Iron deficiency anemia happens when there is not enough iron in the body. It is common in children and affects approximately 20% of children in the Gulf region who are under 5 years of age and 15% of school-age children.

You might notice that your child looks pale and this can lead to poor appetite, tiredness, behavioral problems, and poor performance at school.

How to prevent Iron deficiency anemia?

  • For the breastfed infant, start giving complementary food rich in iron at around 6 months.
  • If not breastfed, avoid whole cow’s milk or other animal milk in the first year of life and replace it with iron-enriched baby formula
  • After one year of age, limit cow’s milk intake to 2-3 cups (maximum of 750 MLS).
  • Offer children a wide variety of iron-enriched meals like leafy vegetables, red meat, egg yolk, pulses, and legumes.
  • Offer dried fruit and nuts as snacks.
  • Offer fruits rich in Vitamin C will enhance iron absorption like citrus fruit, pineapple, mango, and grapes.
Authored by:
Dalia Belsha

Dalia Belsha

Chief of Pediatrics / Consultant Pediatric Gastroenterologist

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