Dealing With Anaemia The Vegetarian Way!
Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht Updated on Jun 03, 2020
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 is not 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Fatigue (more than the regular fatigue with school activities and physical play)
- Difficulty in concentration
- Shortness of breath
- Increased heartbeat with exertion
- Pale skin
- Cramps in the legs
Why Do Children Become Anemic?
There are different factors due to which a child may become anemic.
- Low iron stores at birth A child can become anemic if she is born with low iron stores,
- Low iron content in breastmilk If you are not eating enough iron-rich foods, your breastmilk may be deficient in iron
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Dairy products a 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
Good sources OF IRON
- Organ meat, such as liver
- Dark green leafy vegetables, like mustard (sarson), chana saag, chulai, arbi ke patte, mint
- Nuts and seeds such as sesame, coconut dry, pistachio nuts
- Cereals like bajra, jowar, whole wheat, chirwa, murmura
- Pulses and legumes- Bengal gram, lentils, lobia, soybeans
- Fruits like watermelon, raisins, dried peaches and apricots
- 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
- 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
- Citrus juice give your child half a glass of juice or a citrus fruit with an iron-rich meal
- Salads Another 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
- 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
- Use cast iron pans cooking 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!
| 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
| 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...
| 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