25+ Best Foods Rich in Iron for Kids For Healthy Growth!

I understand the importance of iron as an essential nutrient for a growing kid. In the US, iron deficiency is common in kids, and an estimated 8% of them are affected by it. 

According to a report by The National Institute of Health, kids 👶 daily iron intake should be > 10mg. Iron deficiency can still be an alarming factor for those picky eaters who do not intake enough iron-rich food. 

As a mother of a picky eater, I have churned down a few of the taste bud-loving iron-rich food items for kids over years of researching and experimenting.  

Interesting Foods Rich in Iron for Kids

Toddlers who aren’t breastfed babies anymore need to intake iron-rich food such that there is a constant production of red blood cells, which helps increase their metabolism 💪, facilitates nerve development and cell functioning, and is responsible for the production of some important hormones⚕. 

I will walk you through this guide that will cover a wide range of tasty and kid-friendly iron sources that are my son’s favorite, and I hope your kids will love them, too!

Here are some of the best iron-filled foods for your kid that would leave their buds salivating 👇:

Edamame

Edamame

Young soybeans, or edamame, are a healthy snack that provides our kids with a variety of health advantages, including iron benefits.

Iron is a vital element that helps transport oxygen through circulation, and edamame is a rich supply of this mineral. 

I understand the importance of a kid’s growth, and edamame stimulates that. 

Cashew

Cashew

Iron, a mineral that is vital for children’s growth and development, is abundant in cashews. Iron supports brain function and energy by assisting with oxygen delivery via the blood. 

My son loves a bowl of cashew drizzled with honey 🍯 and butter 🧈. 

White Beans

White Beans

Beans are a staple among plant-based eating for a reason. According to the USDA, a half-cup of white beans has 5.6 grams of fiber, 8.7 grams of protein, and about 3.5 milligrams of iron. 

You can consider alternatives to the usual vegetarian stew or chili the next time you go for a can of white beans.

Pro tip:

I know a lot of people love seafood; hence, most of them prefer using white beans with shrimp. I’m sure the seafood and beans combo would surely be a favorite!

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

Kids may get a lot of the iron they need for healthy growth and brain development from Swiss chard. Iron keeps people energized 💪 and concentrated by helping oxygen travel through the blood. 

I watch my son get loads of energy from this yummy Swiss chard dish as I include it in his diet. 

White rice

White Rice

For children, white rice 🍚 is a rich source of dietary iron. Healthy red blood cells 🩸, which provide oxygen to every region of the body, require iron to function properly.

Adequate iron consumption promotes the development of the brain, growth, and general health. I recommend adding white rice to your kid’s diet.

Soybean

Soybean

Kids can get a lot of iron from soybeans 🌱. Iron keeps people energized and concentrated by helping oxygen move through the body. I agree that it is essential for the development of the brain and growth. 

Tofu and edamame, which are soy-based foods, can increase iron consumption and thus improve general health and vigor.

Potatoes

Potatoes

Potatoes have a substantial quantity of iron in them because iron is largely contained in potato 🥔 skins. An unpeeled big-sized potato has 3.2 mg of iron.

Pro tip:

I prepare potato skins as they contain more iron than an unpeeled potato, and my kid enjoys it!

Mushroom

Mushroom

Iron, which is essential for children’s growth and general health, is found in mushrooms 🍄. Iron aids in the blood’s 🩸 oxygen transportation process, supporting healthy bodies and active minds. 

Assisting their everyday activities and growth, including mushrooms in their diet helps avoid anemia and increase energy levels.

Pro tip:

You can saute the mushrooms and make them into a smoothie for your kids to intake the maximum of the fungi’s health benefits. Mushroom smoothies are sure a kid’s favorite. 

Olives

Olives

I strongly adhere to the idea that olives have a healthy amount of iron. One hundred grams of olives have 3.3 mg of iron in them. Olives are nutritious since they also include fiber, vitamins A and E, and other minerals and vitamins. 

Olive consumption also lowers the likelihood of developing heart disease. 

Dried Apricots

Dried Apricots

My son loves the tasty and practical snack of dried apricots. They are abundant in iron, which is necessary for developing bodies. Iron improves brain growth, increases energy levels, and aids in the delivery of oxygen to cells.

Dried apricots can improve general health and prevent iron deficiency anemia in those who eat them.

Citrus foods

Citrus Foods

Foods such as oranges 🍊, lemon 🍋 and other citrus fruits, along with being a great source of vitamin C, also contain iron.

They improve the absorption of nonheme iron from diets containing plants, such as beans and leafy greens. 

Kids who consume this mixture have stronger blood, which helps improve their general health and energy levels.

Beef

Beef

Heme iron, which is readily absorbed by children’s bodies, is found in abundance in beef. Iron aids in the production of hemoglobin, which increases energy and brain function by carrying oxygen to the muscles and brain. 

Lean beef 🥩 helps children develop healthily, build strong muscles, and stave against iron deficiency anemia, keeping them active and mentally bright.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal

Nothing can go wrong in the classic oatmeal bowls 🥣. Filled with whole grain oats with a diverse amount of roughly chopped fruits🍎 , this go-to meal is easy to prepare. 

Pro tip:

I always add a spoonful of ice cream 🍦 or gelato to enhance the taste of the bowl. That bowl is a hit kid’s favorite. 

Peanut Butter Sandwich

Peanut Butter Sandwich

The classic PB&J sandwiches 🥪 are a staple in my household.

Two toasted bread slices with a generous layer of peanut 🥜 butter drizzled with jelly or honey 🍯 is a favorite among kids. 

Peanut Butter is a rich source of iron, which contains 0.56 mg of iron per tablespoon.

Spinach Salad

Spinach Salad

Leafy vegetables like spinach 🥗 broccoli 🥦 are a great source of iron. Pair it with your kid’s mac and cheese bowl and watch them slurp all of that in a go. This provides a yummy way to feed iron to your kids. 

Pro tip:

You can also add spinach to the smoothies along with other iron-rich fruits and veggies. 

Sweet Potato and Beans

Encourage your toddler to eat beans in the form of mashed sweet potato🍠 and bean puree. White beans, especially, are known to contain a very huge amount of iron. 

You can make a puree or put them in a sandwich 🥪, whichever suits your picky eater’s taste buds. 

Homemade Turkey Meatballs

Homemade Turkey Meatballs

You can make lean ground turkey meatballs and serve them with tomato sauce 🧆. Turkeys 🍗 are known to be a grand source of iron along with being rich in protein, carbs, and other essential vitamins.

Nuts

Nuts

I strongly believe that any sort of nut, be it almonds, peanuts 🥜, or walnuts, is a great source of iron. 

Since they can be a choking hazard, try breaking them down into smaller pieces or blending them with milk 🥛 for a more enhanced taste experience. 

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Protein, fiber, beneficial fats, and minerals like iron are all present in reasonable amounts in pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds🎃 include 2.5 milligrams of iron in a quarter cup.

Pro tip:

I combine raisins, prunes, dried apricots, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower 🌻 seeds in a trail mix.

Green Peas

Green Peas

Iron, fiber, protein, and other minerals are found in green peas 🫛. They go well with many foods, are simple to cook, and are beloved by many toddlers. 1 mg of iron may be found in a half cup of green peas.

Pro tip:

Peas can be cooked and served as a side dish, mashed with baby root vegetables, or used for stews, soups 🍲, and savory rice 🍚.

Tofu

Tofu

A versatile plant-based food that is a favorite among kids. Half a cup of tofu contains 3 mg of protein. 

You may cut firm tofu, add it to salads or stir-fries and bake it. The texture of silken tofu is softer. It may be blended with salad dressings, added to smoothies, or served as a dessert with fruit.

Pro tip:

Tofu, being a versatile ingredient, can be combined into any food item. I make tofu nuggets, and my kid enjoys it. I became happy watching him eat healthily! It’s a win-win.

Eggs

Eggs

Including iron, eggs 🥚 are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and important proteins. The amount of iron in one hard-boiled egg is 1 mg. 

Eggs are a diverse food source that can be incorporated into an egg salad sandwich🥪 or simply boiled and served. 

Pro tip:

The yolk is the major source of protein. You can bake a cake or simply boil and shred the yolk into any of your kid’s favorite food items. 

Dried Apricots

Dried Apricots

Depending on the drying process and the variety of apricots, dried apricots 🍑 can contain various amounts of iron.

Dried apricots typically contain roughly 2 milligrams of iron per 100 grams, which can help you meet your daily requirements.

Asparagus

Asparagus

Depending on the asparagus’s size, type, and manner of preparation, the iron level may vary somewhat. 

An average serving of 100 grams (or 3.5 ounces) of cooked asparagus contains between 0.5 and 2 milligrams of iron.

Pro tip:

I make an asparagus salad as it’s a kick start to the taste buds. Your kid would love it.

Seeds

Commonly taken seeds such as chia and flax are very rich iron sources. They can be paired with oatmeal 🥣 or just taken raw.

Pro tip:

Seeds can be a potential choking hazard. I generally churn them down to pieces and add them to my son’s milk 🥛 or other dishes.

Lentils

Lentils

A hearty lentil soup with veggies and spices may be made using lentils, a plant-based source of iron. 

I agree that lentils aren’t a kid’s favorite, but I let my kid consume them by making them a bit spicy.

Kidney Beans

Kidney Beans

They are also a rich source of iron, with an average of 2.6 mg of iron for each 100 gm serving. 

When combined with tomatoes, spices, and kidney beans 🫘, kidney beans are a plant-based source of iron.

Pro tip:

Do you want your kids to have a tasty supper treat with minimal effort? Incorporate beans with sauteed bell peppers. 

Beet Greens

Beet Greens

Iron-rich beetroot greens may be sautéed with garlic and olive oil. They are leafy vegetables. They are a great compromise if your kid doesn’t like meat or eggs.

In my opinion, there can be kids who don’t prefer more meat; hence, this is what I recommend going with. 

Lean Beef

Get creative and make a Beef 🥩 and Vegetable Stir-Fry with a savory sauce for a delicious and iron-packed meal. A typical 100 gm of lean beef contains 2.1 mg of iron which makes it a tasty cum iron-packed food item.

Pro tip:

Want to increase your kid’s iron intake? Does your kid love greens? I recommend combining it with some good leafy veggies 🥦.

Chicken

Chicken

Kids go gaga for any sort of chicken🐔 recipes. This is a versatile treat to tongue food, which has very high iron content. Approximately 0.7 mg of protein is present in 3 ounces of servings. 

You can make a chicken stir fry or simply boil and mash it up, and your kid would love this.

Pro tip:

I recommend serving with broccoli or bell peppers on the side for more iron and vitamin C.

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

A special iron-rich treat in moderation. Since it’s bitter, I make a fondue 🍫 out of it, which my son enjoys. He always comes for a second ask. 

Please try it out, and let me know how the fondue goes! 

Chickpeas

Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a great addition to our children’s meals since they are a great source of plant-based iron. They are perfect for vegetarian or vegan diets since they offer a nourishing substitute for iron supplies derived from animals.

Pro tip:

I let my kid snack on chickpeas whenever he’s busy with other recreational activities. 

Pork

Heme iron, which is very easily absorbed by the body, is found in pork🥩. Because it helps prevent iron deficiency anemia. A kid-friendly recipe would be a sweet and tangy pork tenderloin prepared by simple oven baking the pork until its skin glazes. 

Pro tip:

Kids enjoy pork with a side of veggies. I recommend serving them stir-fried mostly. 

Duck

A good way to include iron in your kid’s meal deliciously and enjoyably is by incorporating duck 🦆 meat. In addition to being a tasty protein source, duck is a rich source of heme iron, which the body readily assimilates. This can safeguard my child’s general health and help prevent iron deficiency.

Pro tip:

A duck and veggie stir fry would be a good option for your kid. A wide range of colorful veggies would make your kid consume more food.

Raisins

Raisins

Due to their iron concentration, raisins can be a beneficial supplement to a child’s diet. This is a quick-to-consume, hassle-free food that your kid can even eat while on their way to school. 

Pro tip:

I usually make a raisin and nuts oat bar for an easy grab-and-go iron-rich dish.

Pistachios

Pistachios

I see pistachios as a nutritious and crunchy snack that contains approximately 1.1 mg of iron content per serving. Pistachios can be fun and interactive snacks for kids. 

I hand my son a bowl of these when he’s glued to the TV, as it’s a fun snack.

Oysters

Oysters

Despite not usually being a kid’s favorite food, oysters are a great source of iron. Oyster Patties mix the flavors and textures that youngsters frequently like with the nutritious advantages of oysters’ 🦪 iron content. 

Pro tip:

I know my best friend’s son enjoys an oyster salad with lots of other veggies. He loves it! The colorful veggies with this rich iron source are a sure hit.

Pasta

Pasta

A kid who doesn’t prefer a warm bowl of pasta isn’t a question! Pasta is equally iron-rich and a sure favorite of your kid, too. 

Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin 🩸, which transports oxygen throughout the body and promotes healthy muscles and a keen intellect. 

Incorporating pasta into their diet helps your kid stay energized and active by preventing iron deficiency. 

I take delight in seeing my kid gulp all the pasta, and it excites me to watch him intake all the necessary iron for his body. 

Mulberries

Mulberries

Mulberries 🍓 are a fruit that are both sweet and tart and are very nutritious for kids. 

Iron-rich mulberries also include significant amounts of vitamin C, which is essential for the body. Around 2.6 mg of iron may be obtained from one cup of mulberries.

Conclusion

Delivering food rich in iron is always a struggle to match with the taste buds of kids. I agree that serving iron-rich food, which is equally eye-loving, is a hassle, but I hope you were able to connect with me through this blog. 

Please let me know which of these iron-rich foods I have listed above is your favorite.

Also, if you would like to share anything else on iron-rich food, drop it in the comments below, and I will get back. 

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