If your child is eating a variety of healthful foods, he probably doesn’t need dietary supplements of any kind.
Iron deficiency caused by nutritional inadequacy is unusual after age 2. However, if your child rarely eats meat, doesn’t like iron-fortified cereals of any kind, and stays away from iron-rich vegetables, he may need additional iron and zinc. To boost your child’s intake of iron without supplements, first try to get him to eat some of the following foods each week:
3. dried beans
4. dried fruit
5. Baked potatoes
7. Iron-fortified cereals
Do not let your toddler or preschooler drink excessive amounts of milk (more than a quart per day). Too much milk can interfere with the absorption of iron and cause intestinal bleeding.
Some parents choose to give their child supplements. If you do, be sure to check labels for proper doses. If you have concerns or questions about vitamin or iron supplements, check with your doctor. He or she may also recommend a fluoride supplement for your child if you are using a non fluoridated water supply. Be sure to store supplements well out of your child’s reach; excessive amounts of supplements can poison a child.