It can be a little stressful to notice your kids getting ready to school with those saggy and dull looking eyes every day. You might be wondering what’s going wrong? Obviously, the first thing that might strike your mind is could your kid be anemic? That’s a definite possibility but it need not have to be the case.
Health experts claim one of the major reason for dark circles in kids is due to iron deficiency. Although Anaemia is somehow related to iron deficiency, you can be iron deficient and not anemic.
There are many reasons so as to why your kid might be running short of iron. It could be an iron-deficient diet, or it could be due to certain medications or antibiotics, or due to certain underlying health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease that prevents the absorption of iron.
What are the symptoms?
Some of the common symptoms of iron deficiency include
- Pale looking skin
- Increased craving for ice
- Delayed growth
How to increase iron absorption in children?
Most of the times the problem happens due to the child’s diet. We encourage our kids to consume lots of grains, but the problem with the grains is it contains a chemical compound called phytates which binds the iron making it really hard for the body to absorb it.
Talking about iron, there are two types to it. Heme and non-heme type. Heme type of iron is easily absorbed by the body and the non-heme type that is not easily absorbed.
Heme type of iron is found in animal-based foods such as red meats, liver, and fish foods. Non-heme type is found in grains, legumes, lentils, and other plant-based foods.
So the trick to increase the iron levels in your kids is to feed them with foods rich in heme type iron. And some of the good sources include mutton, pork, liver, fish, oysters, crab, and other seafoods are really rich in iron.
If your kid doesn’t like the taste of liver, then liver pills are a good idea. But iron supplements you find at the drug stores are not the type of iron the body needs. The best way to make up for your kid’s deficiency is through food sources mentioned above.
Does it mean you should stop feeding the children with vegetables, fruits, and grains? No, fruits and vegetables are great sources of Vitamin-C which your body needs to absorb iron. Consuming citrus fruits and citrus juices greatly aid in iron absorption. A glass of lime juice after every meal is a good idea.