Project: Raise Baby’s iron levels and then live until I’m 116

First and foremost, I must absolutely raise my glass to this amazing woman today!  Besse Cooper.  She just turned 116 years old- the oldest person in the world right now!  She looks better than a spring chicken and I love her!  The best part of her story?  Her secret: “I mind my own business, and I don’t eat junk food.’’  There you go-said better than I ever could (afterall, she’s had a lot of years to gain some wisdom)!!  I wish I could meet her and listen to all of her stories- I bet I could learn so much.  She probably has a bounty of iron in her blood, too.  Which takes me to part II of this post…

My new idol! ❤

At Braxton’s one year well-visit (he’s a growing, happy boy!), they had him take the blood test for hemoglobin and lead.  It’s a heartbreaking thing to watch them prick my little boy’s finger and squeeze blood out until they have two vials full.  Stop it NOW!!  But, when it was over, it was over, right?

Wrong.  I got a call the next day.  You know how no news is good news?  Well, a call means news.  It wasn’t awful, but the test results showed he’s a little low in iron (29 out of 31-40.)  Immediately I went into I’m a bad mom mode:

1. What did I do wrong?
2. What can I do to make this right?
3. We’re nursing- shouldn’t he get it from me?  Am I low in iron, too?

They assured me it is very common, and they’re not worried.  I should put him on a supplement twice a day and get some iron fortified foods.  Ok, great- done.  BUT.  I’d like him to get his iron from whole foods as much as possible.  Research Mom mode discovered these naturally iron-rich foods:

Red meat.  I don’t eat it and neither does little b right now.  We just don’t make it in the house much.
Fish or poultry.  We do fish once a week, and I do give him chicken or turkey once a week, too.  He’s not a huge fan of either yet.
Egg yolks.  We just started on some eggs once in a while (I insist on brown, organic, free range)- and he’s responding quite well.
Leafy Greens.  This is where I’m baffled.  I subsist on this stuff.  Well, a one year old really isn’t going to eat a raw salad.  So, I’m now boiling some kale or spinach and adding it to a fruit smoothie in his sippy and he downs it!  Success!!  Secret of this: add some boiled water from the veggies to the smoothie- that water has much of the nutrients!
Beans, lentils, chick peas, soybeans– Easy enough. I make these all the time.  Now to get him to eat it!
– Liver.  Yeah, ok.
Cereals.  Oatmeal, you got it!

Eating Vitamin C rich foods- like oranges- along with the iron helps absorption!  That’s great because that kid LOVES his oranges!  Buying them in bulk this week!  A plant based source list I have memorized (expect a post on Amaranth to come!):

Ok, kiddo- Project: Get my boy’s iron levels up begins!  So does Project: Live until I’m 116 .  Except there’s no way I’m looking as good as Besse at that age- she’s a rock star.  Happy 116th, Besse!  Here’s to many more:)  Now time to mind my business and go shopping for some iron…

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