At times children between one and two years of age may become anemic  because they are growing rapidly and lack adequate amounts of iron in  their diet.  Typically, these children consume large quantities of milk, a food very poor in iron and exclude iron-rich solid foods such as meat and green vegetables.



Signs of iron-deficiency in a child of the following:

Poor appetite, except for large amounts of milk


Diminished activity.

Blood count will show a drop in hemoglobin and some characteristic changes in the red blood cells.

Rarely, swelling of the eyelids.





Once iron deficiency has become established, it cannot be treated with diet alone. Your doctor will prescribe proper iron medication which must be taken daily for 3-6 months.  It is necessary to not only correct the anemia, but to replenish the iron needs of the entire body. The iron stores needed or continued growth must also be restored. Therefore enough Iron should be given for as long as needed to achieve goals.


Increase the diet with Iron containing foods

Examples of Iron containing foods:


Green vegetables




Dried fruits

Enriched cereals (increase with Iron)


Limit milk intake to at most 16 ounces per day

On treatment several problems may arise.  There may be staining of the teeth, which is removable by cleaning by your dentist.  The bowel ovements may become black; this is of no consequence.  Mild constipation or diarrhea may occur.  Contact your physician.  He may wish to change your iron medication.


Always follow your doctors treatment plan to avoid complications.  Blood tests are usually done at 7-10 days and month or two later to see a response to treatment.