Top 10 Copper Rich Foods For Children
One would wonder why do children need Copper Rich Foods? That is because copper plays an integral role in utilization of iron, reduction of oxidative stress, maintenance of healthy bones and connective tissue, regulation of thyroid gland function, and production of melanin (skin pigment) and myelin sheath (surrounds and protects nerves). Copper deficiency in infants and children can cause in anemia, bone abnormalities, impaired growth, weight gain, frequent infections (colds, flu, pneumonia), poor motor coordination and low energy. Cooper toxicity in children can cause cirrhosis of the liver in children. Children with Wilson’s disease (genetically inherited) which causes the body to retain copper, may suffer from brain and liver damage if untreated.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
Given below is a table that would help you identify you children’s copper dietary needs (RDA).
Boys and Girls 9-13 years
Boys and Girls 14-18 years
Food Sources of Copper
Some foods that are copper rich are seafood, calf liver, organ meat, mushrooms, molasses, nuts, lentils, legumes, enriched cereals, black pepper, fruits and vegetables (dried fruits, chard, spinach, mustard greens, kale, summer squash, eggplant, asparagus, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, grapes, and avocado).
Top 10 Copper Rich Foods
1. Liver (Pate): Liver is the best source of copper, and the levels are highest in veal liver (15mg/100g serving).
2. Oysters: Copper content of oysters varies between 1 – 8 mg (/100g serving) based on type and variety. Wild oysters contain higher levels compared to farm raised ones.
3. Sesame seeds and Tahini: Dried sesame seeds contain 7.75mg of copper/100g, and sesame butter used in Mediterranean recipes provides 0.24mg /tablespoon.
4. Cocoa Powder and Chocolate: Copper content of this versatile ingredient is 3.8mg/100g serving.
5. Nuts: Cashews are the best sources of copper containing 2.2mg/100g, followed by include hazelnuts, brazil nuts, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, peanuts, pecans, and Almonds.
6. Calamari and Lobster: 100 grams of calamari (squid) gives 2.1mg of copper, and lobsters provide you with 1.9mg.
7. Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are very nutritious, and provide 1.8mg of copper per 100g, that is 0.5mg/ounce.
8. Sun dried tomatoes: Used in sandwiches, pastas and salads, sun dried tomatoes contain 1.4mg of copper per 100g serving.
9. Roasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds: These are a Middle Eastern or East Asian specialty with a high copper content (1.9 – 1.4mg/100g serving).
10. Dried herbs: The best sources or copper are dried basil (1.4mg/100g), followed by Marjoram, Oregano, Thyme, Savory, and Parsley.
How To Incorporate it in Children’s Diet
Copper obtained from both vegetarian and non vegetarian sources, is best absorbed in an acidic environment. Add toasted nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and squash seeds to their diet as a snack. Herbs can be added to a variety of dishes, even if it were added in limited quantities it is sufficient to meet the dietary demands of copper.
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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