Is Your Teen Meeting Their Recommended Intake of Iron?

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August 30, 2013 by thehealthyheartcenter

Your son or daughter’s need for iron increases as they make their way into their teenage years. From about 8 mg/day during childhood to 15 mg/day for girls and 11 mg/day for boys ages 14-18. What is the cause for this necessary influx of iron? Blame larger muscle mass and increase demand for blood flow.

For girls, the necessary amount for iron is higher because of menstruation. Therefore, it is girls who are often somewhat deficient in iron. Children who also do not eat meat may be lacking in iron as well.

Some sources of iron include: some vegetables, such as spinach; meat, poultry, and seafood; legumes (aka beans and peas); and enriched grain products. The amounts in some are as follows:

  • 3 oz. meat—2. 5 mg (pineapple slices or banana peppers)
  • 1 piece of enriched bread—1 mg (glass of orange juice)
  • ½ of cooked beans—2-3 mg (pico de gallo salsa or tomatoes)
  • 1 cup of fortified cereal–±4 mg—check nutrition facts on specific kinds for exact value (side of grapefruit)

*To enhance iron absorption, pair one or more of the above with a food rich in Vitamin C (some suggestions are in bold)


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