Top 10 Iodine Rich Foods For Children
Iodine is an indispensible mineral for children, because it regulates the function of the thyroid gland, which is responsible for overall growth and development. Inadequate intake of Iodine Rich Foods cause multiple deficiency symptoms that include brain development in children (cretinism), mental slowness, high cholesterol, lethargy, fatigue, depression, weight gain, hypothyroidism, and goiter (swelling of the thyroid gland). Cretinism in children is characterized by mental deficiency, deaf-mutism, squint, disorders of stance and gait, stunted growth and reduced levels of thyroid hormones. Supplements related iodine toxicity can cause to burning in the mouth, throat and stomach, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weak pulse, hyperthyroidism, thyroid papillary cancer, iodermia (skin reaction), and coma.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
The required dietary intake of iodine has been established, and the RDA for children based on their age is given below.
Iodine Required (μg/day)
Infants 0 to 6 months
Infants 7 - 12 months,
Children 1-3 years
Children 4-8 years
Children 9-13 years
Children 14-18 years
Food With Iodine
Iodine is already a part of our staple diet as it is present in iodized salt. Iodine content of food sources varies with environmental factors like soil concentration of the mineral and the use of fertilizers. Generally, foods from the sea contain the most iodine, followed by animal foods, and then plant foods. Some good sources of iodine are diary products, eggs, fish, shellfish, sea weeds and vegetables like kelp, garlic, lima beans, strawberries, sesame seeds, soyabean and soy products, and some vegetables like; asparagus, spinach, summer squash, swiss chard, and turnip greens. Absorption of iodine in the body can be inhibited by ‘goitrogens’ like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard, and turnip.
Top 10 Iodine Rich Foods
- Sea Vegetables: Abundant iodine availability in the sea makes sea vegetables like Kelp, Arame, Hiziki, Kombu, and Wakame rich sources of iodine. Kelp is the richest source providing 2000μg per table spoon.
- Cranberries: Cranberries are great sources of iodine, especially when consumed in its fresh and organic form.
- Organic Yogurt: Yogurt not only is potent probiotic, but also gives you 90μg of iodine per cup consumed.
- Organic Navy Beans: Beans itself are a decent source of iodine, but navy beans top the list, providing 64μg of iodine per cup.
- Organic Strawberries: Strawberries that are fresh and organic, are a good source of iodine. 1 cup of this irresistable fruit gives us around 13μg of iodine
- Himalayan Crystal Powder: Commonly known as gray salt, it is a natural source of iodine. The iodine content of this non processed salt is 500μg / gram.
- Dairy Products: Milk and cheese are excellent sources of iodine. One cup of milk gives 55 μg of iodine. Organic milk and its products are better sources.
- Potatoes: Children love potatoes; and it is also gives you 60μg of iodine / unpeeled medium size baked potato.
- Watercress: Watercress sprigs commonly used as a garnish, is also one of the best sources of iodine in a vegan diet.
- Eggs: Iodine content of eggs depends on the hen producing the eggs; it varies between 13 – 70 μg of iodine / large egg.
How To Incorporate Iodine in Children’s Diet
Many of the food sources mentioned above like cranberries, strawberries, milk, cheese, potatoes are loved by most children. For the rest look into our Health Recipes section.
Note: Children, especially ones under 2 yrs are prone to food intolerance and allergy. Introduce any new food slowly and cautiously. If you are aware of you child's food allergies avoid the any food that contains that particular allergen completely.
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