A lack of iron is the usual cause of anemia in children. Their faces, lips and nails become pale, and their muscles get flabby. They are often tired and fidgety, too lazy to play, and don't want to eat. In serious cases, the symptoms of chronic anemia in a child include swollen liver, spleen and belly, a low red-blood cell count and low serum level of iron.
Children with iron deficiency should eat morning glory, peas, chicken eggs, meat and liver, dried and cooked chicken and duck's blood as well as plenty of oranges, mandarins, apples, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and cabbage. They should not eat much fat, fatly fruit, or spicy foods.
Here are some simple remedies mothers can use to boost their anemic children's iron intake.
Chicken liver porridge: The ingredients for this are 50g of rice, two chicken livers, vegetable oil, sugar, salt and sodium glutamate. Start by chopping up the liver, mix in a little sugar and salt, then fry the pieces in vegetable oil. Next, mill the rice into flour and put it in a pot. Then pour water into the pot and stir over a low flame until the rice gruel thickens. Now add the fried liver and stir steadily while bringing the porridge slowly to a boil again. Season with sodium glutamate. Anemic children should eat this liver porridge twice a day, when they are hungry, for ten days, then stop for five days, then eat it again twice daily for ten days.
Chicken blood porridge: Take one thickened piece of a chicken blood, 50g of rice and some vegetable oil, sugar, salt and sodium glutamate. Cut the blood piece into small pieces, mix with a little sugar and salt, and fry in vegetable oil. Grind the rice into flour and put in a pot. Pour water into the pot and stir gently over a low flame until it thickens. Then add the fried blood pieces, and season with sodium glutamate. Anemic children can eat this blood porridge twice daily when they are hungry. They should do so for ten days, then stop for five days, and then eat it twice daily again for ten days.
Legs of goat porridge: The ingredients for this dish are two goat's legs, 10g of jujubes (Chinese dates), 50g of rice and some sodium glutamate. Wash the legs in water, mash them with a meat mallet, put them in a pot and add enough water to simmer the legs for one hour. Filter the sweet quintessence and take the softened meat out. Throw the jujube seeds away and pound the jujubes into pieces. Grind the rice into flour. Put the lot in the pot of tibia water and cook over a low flame, stirring steadily all the while. When the mixture thickens, add sodium glutamate, sugar and salt, and slowly bring it to a boil again. Children should eat the porridge once daily for ten days.
Eel porridge: This dish needs 200g of eel, 50g of rice, 5g of ginger, vegetable oil, sugar, salt and sodium glutamate. Wash and gut the eel, remove the head and tail, and only keep the middle part. Put the eel in a big bowl, and place the bowl in a pot with enough water to steam the eel until it is done. Then remove its meat and put the meat in another bowl. Mash the ginger, put it in a clean cloth and squeeze out the juice. Mix the ginger water and a little sugar and salt with the eel meat. Fry the meat in oil. Smash the eel bone into pieces, and put them in a clean cloth to filter out their liquid. Grind the rice into flour and put it in a pot. Pour the eel-bone flavored water in the pot and cook over a low flame until it thickens. Then add the eel meat and season with sodium glutamate. Stir them together until it boils again. Children should eat this dish once a day for 15 days.
Simmered lotus stem: Beat 500g of pork leg and put them in a pot. Pour in 500ml of water and simmer the legs until they are well-stewed. Remove the meat and filter 300ml of pork leg-flavored water from the pot. Now, wash and cut 150g of lotus stem into small thin pieces, put them in the pot and cook in the pork leg-flavored water until they are overdone. Season with sodium glutamate, sugar and salt. The pork and lotus stem should be eaten twice daily for 15 days.
Steamed black ear fungus: The ingredients are 15g of edible black ear fungus, 15g of jujubes, 50g of pork meat and 10g of white sugar. Soak the fungus in hot water for 20 minutes, then wash and thinly slice it. Cut the jujubes into small pieces after removing their seeds. Wash and chop the pork into very small pieces. Put the fungus, jujubes and pork in a bowl and mix in white sugar. Put the bowl in a pot of enough water to steam for 30 minutes until the meat is done. Children should eat the dish once daily for ten days.
Bó xôi porridge: This is made with 50g of bó xôi (spinach), 50g of jujubes and 100g of rice. Wash the rice and jujubes, put them in a pot and pour in enough water to cook them until they become porridge. Then add the washed and sliced spinach and cook until done. This dish should be eaten once daily for 15 days. However, it should not be eaten by people with nephritis or kidney stones as spinach contains oxalic acid and calcium salts, which can combine to create calcium oxalate.