New Jersey Wic

Stay Strong with Iron

Importance of Iron

Iron is an important mineral that carries oxygen through our bodies. Most people are able to get enough iron from their food to meet their body’s iron needs, but it has to be the right food.
Iron helps with:
Who needs extra iron?

Iron Deficiency Anemia is caused by having too little iron in your blood.

Someone with anemia or low iron may:

Food High in Iron

We get most of the iron we need through the foods we eat.

Sources of iron include:

Iron fortified grains (bread, tortilla, brown rice, pasta)

Legumes (peas, beans, lentils)

Lean red meats, fish, chicken, turkey

Dark, leafy green vegetables



WIC approved cereals

Dried fruits

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps your body take in iron. Pair Vitamin C foods with iron rich foods.

Sources of Vitamin C include:

Try these Vitamin C + Iron food combinations:

Tips for Getting Enough Iron

Eat a variety of foods during the day. Most healthy foods have small amounts of iron, so eat foods from all the food groups. Focus on including iron rich foods with each meal.

Choose beverages wisely. Coffee and tea can make it hard for your body to use iron. If you drink coffee or tea, drink them between meals.

If you are pregnant, take your prenatal vitamins. They have extra iron. Remember to take any vitamin or iron supplement if recommended by your health care provider.

Eat a vitamin C food when you eat iron rich foods. Vitamin C helps your body take in iron.

When eating iron rich foods limit the amount of milk, cheese, and yogurt eaten at the same time. Dairy is a good source of calcium and protein but not iron. Calcium in dairy products can block iron absorption from food. 16-24 ounces of milk a day is enough milk for a child.

Iron for Older Babies

Iron fortified infant cereal and pureed meats may be given to infants starting at 6 months. Continue to give breast milk or iron fortified infant formula until 12 months of age.

Grains Vegetables Proteins
8-9 Months

Infant cereal
Plain whole grain bread
Plain rice or pasta

Cooked, strained or
mashed broccoli, peas,
kale and spinach
Pureed, ground or finely
chopped meats or poultry
10-12 Months

Warm cereal, such as oatmeal or cream of wheat

If baby has pincer grasp, try o-shaped cereal

Plain, whole grain bread

Plain, rice or pasta

Cooked, strained, mashed or bite size pieces of broccoli, spinach, kale and peas

Peas can be a choking hazard if not mashed

Chopped or ground lean meat, fish and chicken

Cooked egg yolk

Mashed beans