The need for increased iron intake soars notably during the teenage years. Dietary Reference Intakes suggest about 8 milligrams of iron intake daily in children aged between 9 and 13 years. Adolescent girls aged between 14 and 18 years require almost 15 milligrams daily while adolescent boys aged between 14 and 18 years need about 11 milligrams. Teenagers require increased iron levels due to more muscle mass and a greater blood supply. Also, girls require even more to replace iron losses due to menstruation.
Teens, specifically girls, do not provide the body with the required iron levels. Poor food choices and eating less quantity of food to lose weight are two common reasons for decreased iron levels. It is possible to eat right and still stay in shape. You need to get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com for further advise on nutritious eating and physical activity. Kids who don’t eat their meals regularly may not have enough iron content. Unlike calcium, the effects of decreased iron intake is visible during the teenage years.
Meat, poultry, seafood, legumes, enriched grains and some vegetables are packed with iron. Iron in some common foods include:
· 1 regular hamburger: 2.5 milligrams
· ½ cup of cooked, baked or refried beans: 2 to 3 milligrams
· 1 slice of enriched bread: 1 milligram.
· 1 cup of iron–fortified breakfast cereal: 4 milligrams, (for cereal, check the Nutrition Facts on food labels for the specific amount)
Adolescents who drink orange juice along with their morning toast or cereal get some extra iron into their body. Its vitamin C content makes iron from plant sources and eggs more usable by the body.