The Chief Executive Officer, Evergreen Health and Social Care International, Yemisi Solanke-Lawal, has urged pregnant women and nursing mothers to ensure they take healthy meals to avoid depriving their children of the needed iron.
Solanke-Lawal said, “Iron is essential in the body of all humans. Its functions are to transport oxygen round the body, cell respiration and as well store oxygen in muscles”.
The nutritionist, in a statement in Ado Ekiti titled, ‘Iron deficiency in infants’, said, “Iron deficiency aneamia is the most common nutritionally deficiency in the world, affecting a quarter of the global population, especially those less than five years of age with high prevalence in Africa”.
She listed physical signs of iron deficiency anemia in children to include “fatigue, breathlessness on exertion, anorexia, insomnia, spoon-shaped fingers, high blood pressure and severe cases of oedema, whiteness of fingernails and the mucous membrane in the mouth and under eyelids,” saying such required urgent attention.
Solanke-Lawal harped on the need for nursing mothers not to compromise exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.
“Mothers need to eat healthily for the breastmilk to be garnished with nutrients. In children above six months of age, introducing family meals at the right texture and temperature will reduce food refusal”, clarifying that “food refusal may lead to nutrient deficiencies like iron,” she said.