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Importance of Screening

Information for Childcare Providers



Studies have shown that children's absorption of lead decreases when they are fed a healthy diet with foods rich in calcium, iron and Vitamin C. Foods high in fat will also increase the amount of lead absorbed by the body so a child's diet should minimize the intake excess fat. A child with an empty stomach will also absorb more lead; therefore, it is very important to feed children frequent nutritionally balanced meals. Remember to never let a child eat any food that has been on the floor, in a window well, or on a window sill.

Iron-Children who are iron-deficient (anemic) tend to absorb more lead because their bodies absorb lead to make up for the lack of iron. Consuming foods rich in iron can significantly reduce the amount of lead absorbed by a child's body.

Vitamin C-Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron.

Calcium-Foods rich in calcium will also reduce the amount of lead absorbed by a child's body. Having enough calcium to support growth and other developmental functions will prevent lead from settling in bones.

Low-fat foods-Children need some fat, such as the fat found in milk, cheese, or yogurt, but other added fats such as fat from fast foods, or "junk" food may increase the amount of lead absorbed by the body.


Calcium Rich Foods
Milk, Cheese, Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Milk Shakes, Green Leafy Vegetables (Spinach, Collards)
Iron Rich Foods Breads & Cereals Cereals which provide 45% or more US Recommended Daily Allowance of Iron (read the label - all WIC cereals are high in iron), Whole Wheat Bread, Enriched Breads, Enriched Noodles, Macaroni, Spaghetti, Enriched Rice
Fruits & Vegetables Potatoes, Bananas, Watermelon, Sweet Potatoes, Raisins, Dried Fruit (Caution-may cause choking in small children) Broccoli, Winter Squash, Prunes, Prune Juice, Spinach, Greens (collards, mustard greens)
Protein-Rich Foods Lean Meats (Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Pork, Liver), Fish (Tuna, Salmon), Peanut Butter, Dried Peas and Beans, Nuts and Seeds, Tofu
Vitamin C Rich Foods Grapefruit, Grapefruit Juice, Tomatoes, Tomato juice, Oranges, Orange Juice, Greens, Sweet Potatoes, Green Peppers, Muskmelon, Cantaloupe, Potatoes, Spinach, Broccoli Cabbage, Pineapple, Cole Slaw, Raspberries, Cauliflower, Strawberries, Watermelon, WIC Juices
High-Fat Foods to Avoid Any Fried or Greasy Food, Bacon, Biscuits, Bologna, Chocolate Bars or Candies, Cookies, Corn Chips, Doughnuts, French Fries, Hot Dogs, Sausages, Sausage Links, Sausage Patties, Potato Chips


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