So yesterday at our WIC appointment, they did a finger stick anemia test for LoveBug. And she is low! Her iron level was 10.3 and I think they told me the normal level is 11.5. Not good. I was shocked to find out–after all, I’m a good mother and I still breastfeed her when I’m with her. That should take care of any iron deficiency, right? Wrong! I was wracking my brain trying to come up with ideas on what to feed her when my husband told me over the phone (after the appointment) that some friends of ours had given us some beef from their naturally raised cows. I refuse to let LoveBug eat red meat from “normal” sources (nor do I eat it), and we don’t exactly have money for groceries right now, anyway, so to find out someone had given us some healthy red meat…WOW! I’m every so greatful and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
My question to you is: what 14-month-old-child-friendly foods do you feed your children that have a high iron content, and how do you prepare it?
Once a year, we purchase a side of beef from a family friend's Angus farm. We know the owner and the cows are raised grain fed and hormone free. I am just like you and will not eat or feed my family beef from a grocery store for various reasons.
My daughter is just 2 weeks younger than yours so I know how you feel about giving her healthy food. I'm lucky and my daughter will eat anything I cook. I am usually anemic anyways, so I make a point to make iron rich foods. Our diet includes dark leaky greens (spinach), beans, hummus, artichokes, eggs, lean meat, dried fruit (rasins, prunes), and enriched cereal.
While I was pregnant, I was severely anemic and needed to take an iron supplement. My OB told me to take my iron with juice that was high in Vitamin C because it helps your body absorb iron better. You may want to start including orange slices in meals, or give your daughter some fruit juice high in Vitamin C.
I hope this helps! My entire family has always had low iron issues, so this has been an ongoing battle to eat healthy foods high in iron.
Check out this: http://nourishedkitchen.com/iron-deficiency-breastfed-baby/ and here's a great blog w/recipe for fried clams which she fed to her iron-deficient toddler (I guess clams are really high in iron): http://www.cheeseslave.com/2009/08/18/fried-clams/
I haven't tried it yet but it sure sounds good!