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Why is iron important for my child?

A lack of iron in the diet is a common cause of anaemia. Children can also become anaemic from malaria and hookworm. Iron deficiency can impair physical and mental development in infants and young children. Even mild iron deficiency can impair intellectual development. Anaemia is the most common nutritional disorder in the world.

Children need iron-rich foods to protect their physical and mental abilities and to prevent anaemia. The best sources of iron are animal sources, such as liver, lean meats and fish. It is also in some vegetarian foods such as pulses. Foods such as wheat and maize flours, salt, fish sauce or soy sauce are sometimes fortified with iron. Iron-rich foods and iron supplements help prevent anaemia. Consuming them with vitamin C helps the digestive system to better absorb the iron.