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Iron & Calorie Intake

August 21, 2014

I get asked frequently about iron and calorie intake for babies and children I will start with Iron. Sufficient iron intake is vital for healthy neurological development. Eating red meat and organ meat are the most efficient ways to get iron, but for vegans, obviously, that’s not going to happen.

 

So how much Iron does a child need?

 

Source: The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends the following:

 

  • Birth to 6 months : 0.27 milligrams per day (mg/day)

  • 7 months to 1 year: 11 mg/day

  • 1 to 3 years:  7 mg/day

  • 4 to 8 years: 10 mg/day

 

With a rising awareness to the quality of meat and animal cruelty parents are often opting for a vegan diet. Is that enough to provide sufficient intake?  11 plant-based foods with some of the highest iron levels

 

  1. Spirulina (1 tsp): 5 mg

  2. Cooked soybeans (1/2 cup): 4.4 mg

  3. Pumpkin seeds (1 ounce): 4.2 mg

  4. Quinoa (4 ounces): 4 mg

  5. Blackstrap molasses (1 tbsp): 4 mg

  6. Tomato paste (4 ounces): 3.9 mg

  7. White beans (1/2 cup) 3.9 mg

  8. Cooked spinach (1/2 cup): 3.2 mg

  9. Dried peaches (6 halves): 3.1 mg

  10. Prune juice (8 ounces): 3 mg

  11. Lentils (4 ounces): 3 mg

     

Lets talk about Caloric needs!  Infants need a relatively high number of calories for their body weight compared to older children and adults. Although newborns may lose weight in the first few days of life, they should regain their birth weight by the time they are two weeks old. By six months, babies should weigh roughly double their birth weight. For babies that are thriving under 6 Months the usually need about 100 calories per kilo of body weight, from 6 Months to a Year need about 80-100 calories per kilo of body weight.

 

 

Toddler average calorie intake per day

 

  • 1-3 years 1300

  • 4-6 years 1800

  • 7-10 years 2000

 

A toddler's precise calorie needs will vary from day to day, so while your child picks at his food one day he may seem ravenous the next. A good way to divide the caloric intake is into three meals and two snacks each day. However, if your child resists this you should stick with an eating plan that he prefers if possible. NOTE about half a toddler's calories should come from fats. 

 

 

 

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