Food and Nutrition

Dealing With Anaemia The Vegetarian Way!

Puja Sharma Vasisht
3 to 7 years

Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht
Updated on Apr 28, 2018

Dealing With Anaemia The Vegetarian Way

Have you noticed that your child gets tired easily, or she complains of leg cramps or shortness of breath while playing? Does the teacher complain that your otherwise attentive child is not concentrating in the class recently? The reason for all this could possibly be anemia. Low levels of iron in the body can result in anemia—a condition in which the blood isn’t able to carry enough oxygen to meet the needs of the body.

What Is Anemia?

Medically speaking, anemia is defined as a condition where there is a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin or a drop in the number of red blood cells in the blood.

Why Is Iron Important?

Iron is extremely important for growth and the proper functioning of the body.

  1. One of the main building blocks of blood is iron and we need it for proper oxygen supply to all our cells, tissues and muscles
  2. Iron is also essential for the immune system to function efficiently

What Are The Symptoms Of Anemia?

Here are some of the possible symptoms of anemia your child may be experiencing.

  1. Fatigue (more than the regular fatigue with school activities and physical play)
  2. Difficulty in concentration
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Increased heartbeat with exertion
  5. Pale skin
  6. Cramps in the legs

Why Do Children Become Anemic?

There are different factors due to which a child may become anemic.

  1. Low iron stores at birthA child can become anemic if she is born with low iron stores,
  2. Low iron content in breastmilk If you aren’t eating enough iron-rich foods, your breastmilk may be deficient in iron
  3. No iron-rich weaning foods If she hasn’t been introduced to iron-rich weaning foods by 6-7 months of age, there’s a chance of becoming anemic
  4. Fussy eater One of the other reasons is when the child is a fussy eater or is not eating sufficient food (especially iron rich) which results in her increased nutritional demands of the body not being met adequately
  5. Worms Another possible reason could be worms in the stomach. Certain worms in stomach may also eat up the iron, thereby leading to an anemia like state
  6. Dairy productsA very high intake calcium, found in dairy products such as milk and calcium supplements interferes in iron absorption. Therefore, avoid over-doing dairy in your child’s diet

How To Deal With Anemia In Your Child?

Dealing with anemia requires an all-round diet focus. This includes not only increasing iron-rich foods in the diet, but also increasing nutrients and foods that help in iron-absorption in the body. Here’s a list for you to familiarize yourself with

  1. Good sources of iron Some good sources of iron are
    1. Organ meat, such as liver
    2. dark green leafy vegetables, like mustard (sarson), chana saag, chulai, arbi ke patte, mint
    3. nuts and seeds such as sesame, coconut dry, pistachio nuts
    4. cereals like bajra, jowar, whole wheat, chirwa, murmura
    5. pulses and legumes- Bengal gram, lentils, lobia, soybeans
    6. Fruits like watermelon, raisins, dried peaches and apricots
  2. Foods that help in iron absorption Foods that are high in vitamin C help in increasing the absorption of iron from mixed vegetarian diet (including cereals, legumes, fiber). These foods are citrus fruits, amla, lemon etc

5 Tips To Increase Intake Of These Foods

Now that you’ve seen what foods are rich in iron, and what foods aid its absorption, here are some tips to introduce them in your child’s diet

  1. A dash of lemon The next time you cook saag or palak paneer, do remember to squeeze half a lemon in it or use ample tomatoes
  2. Citrus juiceGive your child half a glass of juice or a citrus fruit with an iron-rich meal
  3. SaladsAnother good way is to give your child a sprout salad that has lobia and soyabean and dress it with lemon juice. It can be served as a snack
  4. Amla magic Amla, easily available in this season, can be served as a candy or as a murabba—a dessert after a meal. You can grate and add amla to daal while boiling it—though the slightly sour taste will require an adjustment in seasoning, later
  5. Use cast iron pansCooking foods in cast iron pans can also help increase iron consumption, though this depends on the quality of the pan you use

To protect your child from anemia or most other nutritional deficiency conditions, ensure you give him a balanced diet that includes everything—wholegrains, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts, and dairy. Kick-start the iron-rich diet, today!

Have any tips for introducing iron rich foods in a child’s diet? Share them with us in the comments section!

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| Apr 30, 2018

thanks for usefull information

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| Apr 30, 2018

thanks a lot for sharing this useful information

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| Apr 30, 2018

thanks for this information

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| Apr 30, 2018

thank you so much for your information

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| Apr 28, 2018

thank you

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| Apr 21, 2018

very nice information

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| Feb 03, 2018

Very nice information

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| Jan 22, 2018

Thanx fr this useful information..

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| Jan 22, 2018

quite an informative blog, with handy tips.. to make sure iron levels are maintained even in a vegetaraian diet.

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| Jan 22, 2018

useful ...thank u !!

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| Nov 14, 2017

very useful thanks

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| Nov 14, 2017

very useful blogs thanks

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| Nov 13, 2017

very informative ans

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| Oct 26, 2017

really helpful!

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| Oct 05, 2017

very useful blog thanks.

  • Report

| Sep 26, 2017

such a nice blog

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| Sep 26, 2017

such a nice blog.

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| Sep 26, 2017

such a nice blog.

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| Sep 26, 2017

such a nice blog.

  • Report

| Sep 26, 2017

such a nice blog.

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| Sep 26, 2017

such a nice blog.

  • Report

| Sep 26, 2017

such a nice blog.

  • Report

| Sep 26, 2017

such a nice blog.

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| Sep 26, 2017

very nice blog.

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| Sep 26, 2017

very nice blog.

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| Sep 26, 2017

very nice blog.

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| Sep 22, 2017

This was an eye opener..

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| Sep 22, 2017

Ths information is very useful fr me. Thank you

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| Sep 22, 2017

tanx for d information

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| Sep 12, 2017

I m highly obliged for ur valuable suggestions...

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| Apr 11, 2017

very informative thank u

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| Apr 05, 2017

good information for me thankyou

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| Apr 03, 2017

mere baby 11 month ki h n use anaemia ki prblm h... bt vo kuch bhi nhi khati piti... n mere milk bhi nhi ata... evn vo pani tak nhi piti... whol day bina khaye... n nah hi koi medicine leti h... aise me use kis tarah se deal kare... bahut tnsn h... sab kuch try kr le atlst pani hi pi le... lyk atractv toys ,games poems,bahar le gaye,odr bacho ke sath bt vo kisi bhi way se kuch nhI khati piti.... plz sugst me

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| Apr 02, 2017

thnk u mam for ur helpful n wonderful suggestions

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| Apr 01, 2017

wonderful tips

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| Mar 31, 2017

somewhere in d article is written to add

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| Mar 31, 2017

mere baby boy ko gass problm starting birth sai hi ha or uski potty sa bht smell athi ha pls give me reason gass pass krta ta to bht smell atiii ha baby lo 6mnth start ha

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| Mar 31, 2017

thank u

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| Mar 31, 2017

good information

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| Mar 31, 2017

so true .really helpful for moms.

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| Mar 31, 2017

thanku so much to guide us.

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| Mar 31, 2017

thank you for valuable information.

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| Mar 31, 2017

thanks for the info

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| Feb 25, 2017

I am grateful for u to share this information thanks

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| Feb 24, 2017

thank you for sharing this info

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| Feb 24, 2017

thanks for your info

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| Feb 24, 2017

its very important to make children healthy by physical n mental so its need to give them healthy food which is having full of nutritional value. so thanks once again for ths information. ths advice helps us to avoid junk food habit in our child THANKS...

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| Feb 24, 2017

thank you for good advice thank you again

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| Feb 24, 2017

Thank u for the valuable information

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| Feb 24, 2017

Thanks for ur valuable information.

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| Nov 10, 2016

thanks

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| Nov 10, 2016

home made cold tirtmaint my baby 8month old

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| Sep 01, 2016

Thanks a lot

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| Sep 01, 2016

Thank you so much

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| Sep 01, 2016

Thanks a lot ....it will be very helpful for my child who is aneamic

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| May 23, 2016

thanks for giving food suggestion for anemia

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| May 22, 2016

V nice info my son is abt to 4 yr old he is preterm boy . What pros n cons for preterm babies?

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| Mar 29, 2016

Thankyou

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| Feb 19, 2016

My daughter is 5 years old.... She is very adamant and does not listens to anyone she would do watever she likes .... My pedeatric says that I must go for the second child now and then my daughters behaviour will get change but I dont want to go for the second child due to some personal problems... I wanted to know is it really difficult to bring up a single child.. How should I deal with ths situation. PLEASE ADVICE..... THANKS

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| Jan 21, 2016

@Renu, Hi, you can go to a speech therapist for this.

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| Jan 21, 2016

My son is 6 year old and is having both suttering and Stamerring problem for which i am very much worried because of which he is facing many problems in his school. Can u suggest me something for this? Please help me.

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| Jan 21, 2016

My son has iron deficiency n giving the relevant food to him. Thank u for sharing.

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| Jan 20, 2016

Very useful article. Thanx for sharing.

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| Jan 12, 2016

Very informative article. thanks a lot.

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| Dec 30, 2015

Hi Sunshine, please put your query in nutrition corner

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| Dec 29, 2015

What can be given as muscle building to an older child - 10 yrs old ? She's very very skinny but has adequate bone strength, but just doesn't put on muscle ... Therefore tires very easily..

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| Dec 25, 2015

thank you so much for such elaborate information

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| Dec 23, 2015

Helpful information..... Thank you

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