7 Iron-Rich Foods Your Kids Will Actually Want to Eat

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7 Iron-Rich Foods Your Kids Will Actually Want to Eat
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You already know nutrition is key for your child’s well-being, but iron is especially important. Iron helps boost proper blood flow (which means it supplies your child’s cells and tissues with essential oxygen!) and low iron levels can leave your child cranky and fatigued. And that’s not the only issue — kids with low iron levels also tend to perform worse at school, a recent study found.

recommended iron intake

1. Raisins and Dried Fruits
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1. Raisins and Dried Fruits

Dried fruit is ultra-portable and lunchbox-friendly, and it’s also packed with iron. A half-cup of dried apricots, for example, has about 4 mg of iron, while raisins and dried pears offer about 2 mg of iron per half-cup. Dried fruit also supplies fiber to prevent hunger pangs — which might otherwise distract your child at school — plus vitamin A for healthy eyesight.

2. Spinach
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2. Spinach

You already know spinach is great for your kids — but did you know it's loaded with iron? And spinach also supplies vitamin A for immunity and vitamin C for healthy bones. But, unfortunately, spinach doesn’t have a reputation as kid-friendly. Let’s change that!

homemade mac and cheese recipe

3. Roast Beef
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3. Roast Beef

Beef packs a serious one-two punch of ironnot only is the meat itself high in iron, but the iron is in a form that’s easily absorbed by the body. Your child will also get protein for strong bones, vitamin B-12 for cognitive function and niacin for nerve health.

4. Crackers and Cheese
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4. Crackers and Cheese

This kid-friendly staple not only supplies calcium (thanks to the cheese) but it’s also a great source of iron. The flour used to make wheat crackers typically contains added ironsometimes enough to cover your child’s entire daily iron needs in a single serving!

5. Mushrooms
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5. Mushrooms

Mushrooms, like spinach, aren’t typically thought of as kid-friendly — but that doesn’t mean they can’t be. They’re among the best sources of plant-based iron, and supply about 2 mg per cup. Your kids will also get fiber to keep them full between meals, plus antioxidants to support healthy growth.

6. Edamame
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6. Edamame

You might not think of edamame beans (green, immature soybeans) as kid-friendly, but their crunchy texture makes them totally lunchbox-friendly — as long as you add a bit of flavor. Each cup has about 5 mg of iron, and soybeans are also one of the best plant-based sources of protein around.

7. Chocolate
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7. Chocolate

This one shouldn’t be a hard sell! The same nutrients that make dark chocolate great for you — including copper, fiber and antioxidants — are great for your child, too. And opting for dark chocolate means your kid will get over 2 mg of iron per ounce. In general, the darker the chocolate, the more iron they’ll get.

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