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4 Tips to Get More Iron in Your Kid’s Diet by a Pediatric Dietician

hiya iron supplement




Written by:

Dahlia Rimmon

This post is in partnership with Hiya.

As a pediatric dietitian and mom of three littles under five, I'm no stranger to the struggles of picky eating. It's a common phase kids go through as they explore boundaries and flex their independence. But when it comes to nutrition, there are certain nutrients that matter more than others, like iron, which is the #1 deficiency among kids.

Kids need iron for healthy growth and development, especially since they're constantly growing (seriously, do we really need a new pair of shoes every month?). Even if your kiddo isn't fussing over dinner, making sure they get enough iron can be a bit of a headache.

If your child has been diagnosed with an iron deficiency, anemia, or they're just going through a phase of picky eating, they could use some extra iron in their diet. I'm a mom – I get it, so I'm here to save you from frantically browsing the internet wee into the night. Here are 4 kid-friendly tips to boost iron in your child's diet.

1. Introduce Hiya Kids Daily Iron+ supplement

Let's be real, if you have a picky eater at home, their diet probably consists of buttered noodles and crackers. Convincing them to chow down on iron-rich foods like chicken legs or a bowl of kidney beans will likely pose a challenge. Luckily, an iron supplement can step in to help them meet their iron needs.

I'm a big fan of Hiya Kids Daily Iron+ supplement – not only does it deliver a toddler's daily iron requirement, but it also includes vitamin C to enhance iron absorption. Here are some other features I love.

Hiya Kids Daily Iron+ supplement

Gentle iron

Not all iron supplements are created equal, and some types of iron are easier on the stomach than others. Hiya's Kids Daily Iron+ contains carbonyl iron, an easy-to-digest form of iron that's gentle on the belly. If you're considering an iron supplement, you'll want something that's tolerable and won't cause tummy troubles. 

Appropriate dose

Choosing the right iron supplement means considering your child's age since toddlers and older kids have different iron requirements. Toddlers aged 1 to 3 need 7 milligrams of iron per day, while kids aged 4 to 8 require 10 milligrams daily. Hiya's Kids Daily Iron+ contains 7 milligrams, hitting the sweet spot for both age groups. 

Don't forget to chat with your pediatrician about the right iron dosage for your child. Your pediatrician will recommend a dose based on factors like your child's age, the extent of their iron deficiency or iron status, their diet, and the recommended dietary allowance (RDA).

Other reasons why I love Hiya's Kids Daily Iron+:

  • It's free of added sugar!
  • It's gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, and dairy-free, so it's suitable for kids with special dietary needs or who follow specific diets.
  • It's a chewable vitamin, not a gummy. I prefer chewable vitamins since gummy ingredients can get stuck in teeth. Plus, gummy supplements are a bit too candy-like, and I prefer to make a clear distinction between candy and vitamins.
  • I value that it's sent on a pediatrician-recommended monthly schedule so I don't have to remember to reorder. 
  • Hiya is an eco-friendly brand, and this supplement comes in a reusable glass bottle for your first order. Subsequent orders arrive in recyclable pouches.

Keep in mind that this supplement is a chewable vitamin with a firm texture and cylindrical shape, which can pose a choking risk for children under age 4. This supplement is suitable for children age 2+ only if your child can understand verbal instructions and has adequate chewing skills.

Hiya Kids Daily Iron+ supplement

2. Serve foods high in iron

Even if you offer an iron supplement, it's still a good idea to offer iron-rich foods too. Here are some iron-rich foods that are yummy and kid-approved:

  • Cheerios – shocking right?! Cheerios have 12.6 milligrams of iron per 1.5 cups.
  • Chickpea or lentil pasta
  • Nut butter
  • If your kiddo doesn't love chicken, try chicken nuggets! Have you ever met a kid who doesn't like them?
  • Freeze-dried strawberries
  • Eggs – scrambled, fried, omelet, baked into pancakes or muffins!
  • Oats
  • Iron-fortified cereals
  • Chia seeds
  • Fortified bread

3. Serve milk at separate meals

While vitamin C enhances iron absorption, calcium can actually get in the way. Calcium is mostly found in dairy products like cow’s milk, cheese, and yogurt. To make sure your kiddo gets the most out of their iron-rich foods, serve dairy at different meals. For example, if you serve yogurt for breakfast, offer iron-rich foods during lunch or dinner. This way, they can enjoy their dairy and still get the iron they need.

4. Boost Vitamin C intake

Nature is pretty cool and vitamin C can help increase iron's absorption. If you have a kiddo who needs more iron, you need all the help you can get. Serve vitamin-C rich foods alongside foods  high in iron. Think:

  • Strawberries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Pineapple
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi

Don't forget, Hiya Kids Daily Iron+ has both iron and vitamin C!

Increase iron quickly, easily and safely with Hiya Kids Daily Iron+

✅ Carbonyl iron, a gentle and easy-to-digest form of iron

✅ Includes vitamin C

✅ Appropriate dose for kids

✅ Zero added sugar

✅ Gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, and dairy free

✅ Chewable form

✅ Hassle-free subscription

✅ Eco-friendly  and sustainable

Hiya Iron+


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