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Iron Supports Growth and Development in Young Children

Iron Supports Growth and Development in Young Children

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Iron is important for the physical well-being and normal growth and development of your baby. During the first 6 months of life, the iron requirements of your baby are met from the iron available from breast milk and his/her iron stores. However, after six months, your baby will require iron-rich foods since breast milk alone may not provide sufficient amounts of iron to meet his/her requirements. Also, your baby grows rapidly during the first year. Therefore, make sure that you provide him/her with iron-rich foods during this period. 1

Monday, February 27th, 2017

What role does iron play in the growth and development of your baby?


  • Stimulates growth of body cells 1
  • Supports the process of carrying oxygen by red blood cells 2
  • Helps normal growth and functioning of the brain 2
  • Helps support the normal development of the immune system3

What are the consequences of iron deficiency?

  • If your baby becomes iron deficient, then he/she can develop iron deficiency anemia, a condition characterized by low hemoglobin content1
  • If your baby is not treated for anemia, then he/she may have delayed psychomotor and cognitive development that may result in learning problems1
  • Your baby’s normal growth and development may be affected4
  • Your baby may even develop behavioral problems like social withdrawal1

Hence, make a healthy choice that once your child reaches 6 months of age, the complementary food you give has adequate iron content. This way, you will make a healthy and safe choice for your little one’s future.


  1. Iron dietary Supplement Fact sheet,
  2. Your guide to anaemia. US department of health and human services. National institutes of health. 2011.
  3. Kumar V, Choudhry VP. Iron deficiency and infection. Indian J Pediatr. 2010; 77 (7) : 789-793.
  4. Guidelines for Control of Iron Deficiency Anemia, National Iron Initiative – towards infinite potential in anaemia free India. Adolescent Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India

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