The effectiveness of bread fortified with iron bis-glycinate chelate for the control of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia was evaluated in 89 preschool children from families of low socioeconomic level attending 2 day nurseries of the Sao Paulo City Council. During the intervention's time of 6 months the children received besides their usual center's diet, a daily supplement of two sweet rolls fortified with 2 mg each of iron from the chelate for a total daily iron intake of 4 mg. After six months of intervention there was a significant decrease in the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia from 62 to 22%. There was a mean hemoglobin improvement of 1.1 g/dL, and in children with initial hemoglobin levels < 11 g/dL the mean increase in hemoglobin was 1.42 g/dL. The total mean plasma ferritin values increased from 11.34 to 20.2 micrograms/L, and in those children originally iron depleted the ferritin values normalized. A significant increase in the "z" score for weight/height was also observed. We concluded that the use of sweet rolls fortified with 2 mg of iron from the bis-glycinate chelate is highly effective for the control of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia in young children.