Objectives: To develop iron rich snacks using locally available iron rich foods and analyze their iron content when cooked in iron pots. Further, the efficacy of the developed snacks, cooked in iron pots was examined on the hemoglobin status of pre-school children through a three month randomized trial.
Methods: Four iron rich snacks (mean iron content 2.1mg/serving) were cooked in iron pots and 27 preschool children (mean age 2.9 ± 0.9 y, 12 boys) were supplemented with the snacks for 4 mo. Anthropometry and dietary intake data were collected. Hemoglobin, serum iron and transferrin saturation were assessed.
Results: An increase of 16.2 % in the iron content was found in the snacks cooked in iron pots than cooked in Teflon coated non-stick pots. After 4 mo of supplementation, a significant increase of 7.9 % was seen in the hemoglobin of the children.
Conclusion: This pilot study demonstrated that iron rich recipes cooked in iron pot have a beneficial effect on iron status of children. Therefore, such food based strategies have the potential to alleviate iron deficiency anemia not only in children but also in other vulnerable sections of society like in pregnant women.