Normal Ferritin levels for children 6m-15 years are 7-140 mcg/L or 7-140 ng/mL (Source: WebMD)
Eating a diet rich in sources of iron (see below) is usually sufficient to prevent iron deficiency from dietary causes (however children may lose iron through malabsorption, disease processes or excessive bleeding.) The RDI for iron in this age group is 9mg/d. Drinking excessive amounts of milk in childhood is often associated with low iron levels.
Once a child is iron deficient, it's actually very difficult to increase their iron levels through diet alone and a supplement is usually required to boost their levels. There are liquid iron supplements available (e.g Incremin.) Iron supplementation is only recommended if their level is actually low (and should be done under medical supervision.) Iron in excessive amounts can be toxic. It can also cause gastrointestinal upset (constipation, nausea and vomitting.)
In conjunction with supplementation, to ensure iron levels are maitained once the supplement is ceased, it's important to ensure dietary iron is optimised. To do this consider:
-offering red meat 3-4 times per week
-offering eggs, lentils, chickpeas, chicken, fish, peanut butter and other good sources of iron
-including green leafy vegetables with meals
-serving meals with a source of vitamin C found in many vegetables and fruit, juice is not recommended for children. Some examples include broccoli, capsicum, caluliflower, spinach, sweet potato, tomato, peas, orange, berries, kiwi fruit, pineapple)
-reducing milk to 2 glasses per day
-seeking advice from a paediatric dietitian if your child is vegetarian or a fussy eater
-seeking advice from your GP or paediatrician if your child has chronic diarrhoea
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