Author Topic: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron  (Read 2753 times)

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Vegemite Girl

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Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« on: October 02, 2007, 04:33:22 PM »
Hi - I hope I've put this in the appropriate place (feel free to move it, if not).

I was wondering if any vegetarians out there could reccommend non-meat, iron rich food or recipes? One of my wee ones (she's almost 3 years old) is quite picky and won't eat red meat. I worry that she isn't getting enough (or any) iron. Can anyone suggest any alternatives I could try feeding her (and the rest of us for that matter!) I'm not an adventurous cook, but I'd like to learn new stuff/dishes.

Thanks heaps!


MDefarge

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Re: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2007, 04:36:13 PM »
I know spinich has a ton of iron, and is easily mixed into things like Turkey burgers/loaf - adds moisture too!  Good luck!

Harriet Jones

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Re: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2007, 04:41:46 PM »
I found a list here for plant-based iron: http://www.soystache.com/iron.htm

It looks like beans, nuts, and seeds are good sources.  I've heard that cooking in cast iron helps, too.


Vegemite Girl

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Re: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2007, 05:01:31 PM »
Thanks guys!

I won't be cooking turkey anytime soon (it's incredible expensive here and hard to get - I think I've had it once in my entire life!) but spinach is a good one; I use that a bit.

Thanks for the table of iron sources; I had no idea there were foods with so much more iron in them than meat! In fact I have to admit my ignorance; I haven't heard of a lot of the foods mentioned (although they may be American names for things we do have here, like ground beef for mince). Good to see broccoli reccomended; I use that a fair bit.

I do use a cast iron frypan.

SkylerY

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Re: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2007, 05:07:36 PM »
Check out this site about iron rich food for children - it also includes types of iron-fortified food (such as Carnation Instant Breakfast Mix, pretty much like chocolate milk!!)

http://pediatrics.about.com/od/nutrition/a/06_iron_foods.htm

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SkylerY

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Re: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2007, 05:10:39 PM »
Also, check out this iron source comparison guide from http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/vegan.htm.  Who knew molasses could be so good for you???

Comparison of Iron Sources

Here are the iron contents of selected foods:

       ______________________________________________

            FOOD                            IRON (MG)
       ______________________________________________

       1 cup cooked soybeans                   8.8
       2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses              7.0
       1 cup cooked lentils                        6.6 
       1 cup cooked kidney beans              5.2
       1 cup cooked chickpeas                  4.7
       1 cup cooked lima beans                 4.5
       1 cup cooked Swiss chard               4.0
       1/8 medium watermelon                   1.0
       ______________________________________________



Vegemite Girl

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Re: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2007, 05:14:17 PM »
Thanks. I'm not sure what iron-added products are available in New Zealand, but that's something to check next time I'm at the supermarket.

She does ok for veges, and *loves* fruit, so I guess some fortified grains and added beans should help.

Also, does anyone know - someone once told me dried apricots were a good source of iron. Is that true? They'd make a great snack (and we all like 'em; I could do with some extra iron, too).

cicero

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Re: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2007, 06:46:23 AM »
you should probably work with a nutritionist who specializes in vegetarian life styles bec if you daughter is not eating meat, then she might have other nutrition deficiencies (such as the B vitamins, especially B12).

its also important to serve the iron-rich food together with vitamin C-rich food (you don't need tons of the Vit C, but it helps to absorb the iron in the blood.) - so serve together with a tomato, a few tablespoons of orange juice or a few orange segments, etc.

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Nimblicity

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Re: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2007, 10:55:16 AM »
My doc told me that cooking in a cast-iron pot would provide me with more than enough iron.  Not sure if that's true.  Otherwise, I think the rule of thumb with veggies is the darker green, the more iron.
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Lady Vavasour

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Re: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2007, 07:45:19 PM »
Chickpeas have proportionally more iron in them than steak. The iron in non-meat sources is absorbed less efficiently, though, so you do need to have more than if you were getting it from steak. Spirulina is a very good source of iron (unfortunately it tastes revolting, though).

One thing to keep in mind is that calcium inhibits iron absorption, so don't drink milk with your chickpeas :) Vitamin C (in oranges etc.) assists it, however.

Lady Vavasour

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Re: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2007, 07:50:50 PM »
you should probably work with a nutritionist who specializes in vegetarian life styles bec if you daughter is not eating meat, then she might have other nutrition deficiencies (such as the B vitamins, especially B12).



She'll be fine if she's eating other kinds of meat (like chicken) but that's a very good point. B12 is in milk and other dairy products, fortified soy milk (you need to check--they have it in SoGood though) and eggs. I believe vegemite is a very good source too :) You only need a small amount of B12 but it is absolutely essential.

Like I said, though, if she's eating other kinds of meat she'll be absolutely fine.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2007, 07:54:45 PM by Lady Vavasour »

Lady Vavasour

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Re: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2007, 07:53:02 PM »

Also, does anyone know - someone once told me dried apricots were a good source of iron. Is that true? They'd make a great snack (and we all like 'em; I could do with some extra iron, too).

That's true; they are a good source of iron.

Vegemite Girl

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Re: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2007, 01:25:17 AM »
you should probably work with a nutritionist who specializes in vegetarian life styles bec if you daughter is not eating meat, then she might have other nutrition deficiencies (such as the B vitamins, especially B12).



She'll be fine if she's eating other kinds of meat (like chicken) but that's a very good point. B12 is in milk and other dairy products, fortified soy milk (you need to check--they have it in SoGood though) and eggs. I believe vegemite is a very good source too :) You only need a small amount of B12 but it is absolutely essential.

Like I said, though, if she's eating other kinds of meat she'll be absolutely fine.

Hey - vegemite is the food of the Gods! (move over, ambrosia!)

She unfortunately doesn't like chicken either; it's driving me nuts, but the only meats she'll eat are fish and sausages. I didn't realise about the B vitamins; that's something else to worry about! She does like cheese, (she seems to have an allergy to egg) but often gets rashes with milk for some reason, so I'll try her with SoGood as an alternative. I didn't even think of soy products! See what kind of an ignorant meat eater I am...

 ::)

I agree about the spirulina: drank it once when I was on a diet - never again. Chickpeas are a good idea, I think i have a vegetarian lasagne recipie somewhere that uses them, I'll have to dig it out...

She's picky, Kid1, but on the plus side - she's only just starting to like sugary things (eg lollies, etc) now, and she's almost 3. So it's not all bad!

Lady Vavasour

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Re: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2007, 01:47:18 AM »
you should probably work with a nutritionist who specializes in vegetarian life styles bec if you daughter is not eating meat, then she might have other nutrition deficiencies (such as the B vitamins, especially B12).



She'll be fine if she's eating other kinds of meat (like chicken) but that's a very good point. B12 is in milk and other dairy products, fortified soy milk (you need to check--they have it in SoGood though) and eggs. I believe vegemite is a very good source too :) You only need a small amount of B12 but it is absolutely essential.

Like I said, though, if she's eating other kinds of meat she'll be absolutely fine.

Hey - vegemite is the food of the Gods! (move over, ambrosia!)

She unfortunately doesn't like chicken either; it's driving me nuts, but the only meats she'll eat are fish and sausages. I didn't realise about the B vitamins; that's something else to worry about! She does like cheese, (she seems to have an allergy to egg) but often gets rashes with milk for some reason, so I'll try her with SoGood as an alternative. I didn't even think of soy products! See what kind of an ignorant meat eater I am...

 ::)

I agree about the spirulina: drank it once when I was on a diet - never again. Chickpeas are a good idea, I think i have a vegetarian lasagne recipie somewhere that uses them, I'll have to dig it out...

She's picky, Kid1, but on the plus side - she's only just starting to like sugary things (eg lollies, etc) now, and she's almost 3. So it's not all bad!

SoGood is great; I used to buy the purple fortified kind that I think is high is calcium as well. I wouldn't worry too much about the B12 if she is eating some meat though. You only need a very small amount.

I'm vegetarian and the only deficiencies I've ever had problems with are iron and B12. They say iron and folate deficiencies are often linked but I've never had a problem with folate, perhaps because I eat lots of green veges and wholemeal bread.

cicero

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Re: Advice needed re: vegetarian sources of iron
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2007, 05:38:38 AM »


Hey - vegemite is the food of the Gods! (move over, ambrosia!)

She unfortunately doesn't like chicken either; it's driving me nuts, but the only meats she'll eat are fish and sausages. I didn't realise about the B vitamins; that's something else to worry about! She does like cheese, (she seems to have an allergy to egg) but often gets rashes with milk for some reason, so I'll try her with SoGood as an alternative. I didn't even think of soy products! See what kind of an ignorant meat eater I am...

 ::)

I agree about the spirulina: drank it once when I was on a diet - never again. Chickpeas are a good idea, I think i have a vegetarian lasagne recipie somewhere that uses them, I'll have to dig it out...

She's picky, Kid1, but on the plus side - she's only just starting to like sugary things (eg lollies, etc) now, and she's almost 3. So it's not all bad!

if you don't mind my butting in - you REALLY shouldn't be feeding your child sausages, they are really not heathly. i understand that age, but it's possible that she is picking up on your frustration and is acting out accordingly. if you don't have a problem serving your child flesh food, then maybe try some other way of serving it - like meat/chicken balls or patties, maybe on home made pizza, spaghetti bolognese, etc.

if she will eat soup, then make a meat/chicken based soup but strain or mash it befor you serve it so she won't 'see' the chicken.

if she likes beans: then you can try making your own hummous and give her vegetable crudites for dipping.

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