Is your infant or toddler becoming iron deficient?

Why some kids may not be getting enough of this important mineral,
and the ingredient that’s making iron fortification easier to tolerate


If your baby is less than a year old and already drinking cow’s milk, consider this: Cow’s milk is low in the iron that infants need for their motor skills and mental development (thinking and processing skills). According to the Centers for Disease Control, iron deficiency is seen most often in children between ages six months and three years, who need between 7 and 11 mg of iron per day due to their rapid growth.

“Sometimes it can be hard for very young children to get enough iron from their normal diet,” comments Dr. Felicia Dr. Stoler, a registered dietitian, author and expert consultant in nutrition and healthful living. “Infants and toddlers need iron-fortified formulas and cereals. Even if they are breastfed, parents may still need to add iron drops to the pumped breast milk.”

Stoler explains why parents shouldn’t count on toddlers eating enough of other iron-rich foods to reach their daily requirements. “Some parents limit their children’s intake of red meat, which contains nature’s most absorbable form of iron. Other iron-rich foods, such as Swiss chard, beet greens and prune juice just aren’t very kid friendly,” she points out. But adding iron to children’s diets has been tricky, because it can cause constipation. It can also give foods an unappealing metallic taste. Even more problematic, some forms of iron fortification are difficult for children’s bodies to absorb.

The good news is that infants and toddlers can have an easier time getting dietary iron with foods and beverages fortified with SunActive Fe. Backed by a substantial body of research, SunActive is clinically proven to have a slow release and high bioavailability. As important, it’s mild on the digestive system and has no metallic taste. “From children’s cereals to rice and dairy products, I can see why parents would want to look for SunActive on product labels,” says Stoler.

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Biography: Dr. Felicia D. Stoler

Dr. Felicia D. Stoler is a registered dietician, exercise physiologist and expert consultant in nutrition and healthful living. She was the host for the reality show, Honey We’re Killing the Kids on TLC. She is the author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes™: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great (Pegasus 2011). She specializes in integrating behavior modification to influence positive health outcomes.