Most people in the United States don’t have a difficult time meeting
their daily iron needs, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.
But certain groups — including children, teen girls, pregnant women and
premenopausal women — may have a tougher time. Foods fortified with
iron can help these groups get more iron in their diet. A fortified
cereal contains added iron, more than is normally found in the food. An
enriched cereal contains only the amount of iron lost during milling of
the grain — iron which is then added back in during processing.
Most grains used to make your favorite brand of cereal contain
some amount of iron. If a cereal is fortified with iron, it may say so
on the front of the box of cereal. You can also use the Nutrition Facts
label to help you identify cereals with added iron. If a cereal meets
100 percent of the daily value for iron, which means it contains 18
milligrams of iron per serving, it is an iron-fortified cereal. Some
cereals, however, may be fortified but contain less than 100 percent of
the daily value.
For reference, children 1 to 13 years old need 7 to 10 milligrams of
iron a day, teen girls need 15 milligrams a day, women 19 to 50 years
old need 18 milligrams, and men and women over age 50 need 8 milligrams a
When it comes to cold cereal, whole grain makes a healthy
choice, and an even better choice if it helps you meet essential
nutrient needs such as iron. Kellogg’s brand offers a few whole-grain
cereal options fortified with iron that meet 100 percent of the daily
value per serving, including All-Bran Complete Wheat Flakes, Product 19
and Smart Start Strong Hearts Antioxidant Cereal.
The Total line of cereals, which includes a wheat-flake cereal and a
wheat-flake cereal with raisins, made by General Mills, are also
iron-fortified and meet 100 percent of the daily value for iron.
Wheaties, also made by General Mills, is a whole-grain, iron-fortified
cereal as well, but it only meets 45 percent of the daily value for
If you prefer hot cereal on cold mornings, some brands and
flavors can help you meet your iron needs. Quaker Original Instant
Oatmeal is fortified and meets 40 percent of the daily value of iron per
packet, and the company’s instant grits product meets 45 percent of the
daily value. Malt-O-Meal hot cereals are also fortified with iron. One
serving of both the Original and Creamy Hot Wheat meet 60 percent of the
Iron-fortified cereals can help your kids get more iron in
their diet. Kix is a low-sugar kid-friendly cereal that meets 45 percent
of the daily value for iron for adults, or 80 percent to 100 percent of
the RDA of iron for children. Made from whole grains with a touch of
sweetness, Original Life cereal also makes a good choice for kids and
meets 90 percent to 100 percent of a child’s iron needs. Kellogg’s
Frosted Mini Wheats is high in fiber and can help your child get all his
daily iron, plus a little more, in one bowl.