My 9 year old daughter refuses to eat meat. What veggies can I add to her diet to give her more iron?

The good news is that there are many foods other than meat that contain iron. First, let me explain that iron is found in primarily two forms: heme and non heme iron.
Heme iron is well absorbed and makes up about 40% in poultry, fish, and meat. The non-heme iron does not absorb as well and makes up 60% of the iron in animal products and all of the iron in grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

If your daughter is not interested in eating meat she can certainly get her iron from non meat sources (non heme iron). Good examples include spinach, quinoa, lentils, beans (pinto beans, navy beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, soybeans), tofu, potato, broccoli etc. Iron enriched foods like bagels, orange juice, oatmeal, etc. are also good alternatives to meat. To best absorb the non heme iron, I advise that you pair your daughter’s vegetarian iron source with a food or beverage high in vitamin C. This aids in the absorption of the non heme iron. For example, a dish with beans and tomato sauce or including orange juice in a fruity tofu smoothie (she won’t even know the tofu is in there!) can help her best absorb iron.

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