When I took my son Cyrus to his 1 year appointment years ago l did the routine testing for hemoglobin and lead poisoning. The lead level turned out fine but the hemoglobin came back at a low level. So he had to get blood work done to confirm that he did have a low hemoglobin he was 9.5. Normal for children his age is 10.5 – 11.0 so is a little concerning he was diagnosed as iron deficiency anemia which can be common in breast-fed children. Now my son eats healthier than anyone in the house. He eats tons of fruits and vegetables.
He even eats steak!
Babies and toddlers need a lot of iron because of their growing bodies and tissues. Iron from destroyed RBCs is actually reabsorbed in liver iron stores. Dietary absorption is increased in the mucosal cells of the intestine if iron stores are low in the body.
Meat dietary sources (heme iron) have a higher bio-availability than vegetable sources (non heme iron).
Our pediatrician was a little surprised and I do not want to supplement with formula, which the pediatrician suggested. Side effects include constipation, stomach cramps, ect,. Some brands of the oral solution include sodium bisulfite, propylene glycol and food dyes! Yuck! I will not give my child Red #40 with their iron! I would rather increase dietary forms of iron. I needed a more holistic approach for this integrative medicine mom.
The food that surprised me was black strap molasses.
This has an astounding amount of iron in it. Per tsp 20% of your daily value. I ordered this brand of Molasses; it’s organic and unsulfured.
My son should be getting 7 mg of iron daily. I wanted to give him iron in his diet so I started investigating what I could make with the molasses.
I came up with this recipe for molasses cookies.
They are nicknamed iron cookies in my house.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! I actually made a batch for Christmas and they got gobbled up by many family members!
Recipe for Iron Cookies
1/2 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup Blackstrap molasses
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp non aluminum baking soda
1 1/2 cup GF flour blend
You can plop these using a tablespoon onto a baking sheet and sprinkle some sugar on top or place in the refrigerator for an hour. roll into balls, roll in sugar and flatten on pan.
Bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Want another trick to increase the iron absorption?
Another trick to increase iron absorption with your children is adding a source of ascorbic acid to your child’s meal. Ascorbic acid is a promoter of non-heme iron absorption. Citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes and broccoli are some examples of fruits and vegetables high in ascorbic acid. So serve these cookies with a side of strawberries!
Did your child enjoy these cookies? Share pictures of them chowing down or comment below!