India is a country where the majority of the population is on vegetarian diet and that is their staple meal. Furthermore, in a lot of homes, there is over-emphasis to give milk to children. This leads to a dietary deficiency of absorbable iron, hence leading to something called nutritional anaemia. Usually, such a pattern becomes clinically significant by the first birthday of the child, when it is easy to document anaemia.
However, if proper dietary advice is followed, then most of these kids can be reverted back to normal haemoglobin levels without any need for IRON Therapy.
The following simple dietary tips will help:-
- Avoid giving the child too much milk, even if she asks for it. Usually at 1 year of age, about 600ml milk is the maximum that should be given in 24 hrs. Instead of milk, you should concentrate on giving more fruits and vegetables to the child.
- If you are a non-vegetarian, then increasing the iron content of the diet is relatively easy as red meat, fish, chicken etc. all contain very good amounts of "Heme" iron which is much more absorbed by our body.
- Try to include more of green vegetables (like spinach, broccoli, bathua), potatoes, jaggery in diet which are rich sources of iron
- Lentils are also good sources of dietary iron. So increase urad dal, chhole or chickpeas, etc. in diet
- Try cooking in iron utensils if possible. this also increase the iron content in the cooked food.