Iodine For Babies – Sources and Benefits

7 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.

Iodine For Babies

Babies need various vitamins and minerals for proper growth and a stronger immunity system. For example, pediatricians always recommend including calcium and phosphorus-rich food in their diet to strengthen the bones and prevent rickets. Similarly, you have to give them vitamin A through food like carrots, red bell peppers, beetroot, and so on because the vitamin ensures optimal eye health. This is why parents must ensure their babies get all the nutrients they require during the early years. One such nutrient that often parents ignore is iodine for babies.

Most people think that iodine serves the only purpose of reducing the chances of hypothyroidism. However, it is not the only truth because this particular mineral has several other benefits yet to be explored. Keeping this in mind, we have shared some insights into the benefits of iodine for babies, the dose they require, and the food they should eat for proper iodine supply.

In This Article

What is Iodine?

Iodine is an essential mineral for human bodies that often occurs in most food items, especially sea salt. Scientifically speaking, it is a halogen element used in several applications like making toothpaste, testing reagents, and so on. Multiple scientific studies have shown how crucial iodine is for humans. This is why you cannot skip giving this mineral to your baby, especially during the early years when the development of both physical and mental abilities occurs.

Amazing Top 4 Benefits of Iodine For Babies

Benefits of Iodine For Babies

As we have already said earlier, iodine is one of those minerals that serve many purposes in human beings. Therefore, it’s not important to prevent thyroid-related diseases during the early years. As many of you might not know about the benefits of this mineral, we have explained the same in the following section for your better clarity.

1. Improves Cognitive Functioning

The mental strength starts to develop from an early age, almost when babies are about 1 to 1 ½ months old. Therefore, parents must include every kind of nutrient that can support mental development, fasten the process, and play a crucial role in cognitive functioning.

Luckily, iodine is one such mineral that improves the cognitive state of babies, establishing appropriate coordination between their mental and physical health. When babies do not receive the quantity of iodine, they can suffer from several degenerative neurological diseases later, like Alzheimer’s disease, improper neural coordination, schizophrenia, and so on.

2. Prevents Goitre in Babies

The pituitary gland releases thyroid stimulating hormone that controls the function of the thyroid gland in human beings. If the hormone is not produced sufficiently, it leads to hypothyroidism. Similarly, hyperthyroidism is the ultimate result when the hormone is produced in excess.

In either case, the thyroid gland swells and often protrudes out from the neck region leading to a condition known as goitre. Taking iodine-rich food items will keep your baby safe from this health condition. It also ensures the thyroid stimulating hormone is secreted in the appropriate quantity that won’t harm homeostasis.

3. Reduces the Chances of Developing Autism

Autism is often seen in children of six months of age. It is a neurological, physical, and cognitive development disease where different parts of the brain fail to coordinate with each other and provide the response on time.

Some major symptoms of autism are lack of response, broken sentences, difficulty speaking fluently, lack of understanding of simplest matters, and so on. Studies have shown that iodine deficiency is one of the main reasons babies get autism. Therefore, it is mandatory to include this mineral in their diet in an optimal quantity.

[Read : Autism in Babies]

4. Strengthen Teeth and Maintain Oral Health

Babies usually start teething from three to four months of age. Since these are the milk teeth, additional minerals need to be provided to their diet so that the gums can become stronger and resist any infections, and the teething can happen on time. Apart from calcium and phosphorus, iodine is also necessary for optimal oral health and teething at the right time.

Top Sources of Iodine For Babies

Iodine is present in multiple food items, usually sourced from nature, and safe for babies. Therefore, you must not hesitate before including the ingredients in the recipes for them. Just as a head start, we have listed here the most popular sources of iodine that are easily available and can be cooked in no time.

[Read : Eggs For Babies]

How Much Iodine Do Babies Need?

Babies up to six months of age need at least 90 micrograms of iodine per day. When they cross seven months of age, you need to increase the intake to 110 micrograms of iodine. This will continue till they are 12 months of age.

Effects of Iodine Deficiency in Babies

Iodine deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism, with thyroid glands swelling up. Sometimes, a lack of iodine in the nutrition can also result in poor oral health and improper baby teething.

Prolonged iron deficiency in babies can lead to autism, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and several other types of neurogenic degenerative health problems in the long run.

How Can You Help Your Baby Get Enough Iodine?

The best way your baby can receive appropriate quantities of iodine every day is by including iron-rich foods in the diet. Apart from this, your baby will also receive several other vitamins and minerals essential for physical, mental, and cognitive development during the early years.

List of Top 10 Best Iodine Rich Foods For Babies

Iodine Rich Foods For Babies

You will find a plethora of food items with iodine content and safe for babies. Although you cannot feed some of the food ingredients at an early age, you can surely include them when your baby is about 10 to 12 months of age. Below we have listed the top 10 iron foods that must be included for babies.

  1. Seaweed is one of the best sources of iodine and is also organic.
  2. Cod fish is another great source of iodine. However, the nutritional content will vary from one variety to the other based on their location.
  3. You can also include halibut as a source of iodine in your baby’s diet
  4. You can feed poached scallops as they have several important minerals and vitamins, including iodine.
  5. Dairy products like milk are a very good source of iodine. However, you need to ensure the milk is pure and concentrated on getting the amount of iodine.
  6. Yoghurt can be easily added to the child’s diet every day since it is rich in proteins and iodine.
  7. After consultation with your pediatrician, you can add egg yolk.
  8. Do not forget to add a pinch of iodized salt to your baby’s food after consulting a pediatrician since it contains the highest amount of iodine.
  9. Cottage cheese or paneer can also be a great source of iodine.
  10. Chicken can be incorporated into your baby’s diet as an iodine source.

Nutritional Content of Iodine in Various Foods

Refer to the table below which has mentioned the iodine content in the various popular foods.
Food Amount Per Serving
Baked Cod 158 mcg
Greek Yoghurt 87 mcg
Dried Nori 116 mcg
Iodized Salt 76n mcg
Hard-Boiled Egg 26 mcg
Cooked Fish Sticks 58 mcg
Oysters 93 mcg
Non-Fat Milk 85 mcg

[Read : Chia Seeds For Babies]

Top 3 Healthy and Tasty Iodine Rich Food Recipes For Babies

Iodine Rich Food Recipes For Babies

If you are worried about preparing the best meal with a higher concentration of iodine, the following list will give you some ideas.

1. Fruit Yogurt (6 Months+)

Greek Yogurt is a good source of iodine. Fruit yogurt is an excellent way of iodine and many other nutrients to your baby’s diet. For very young babies, you can mash fruits of your choice and mix well with yogurt and feed to your baby Slice the fruits into small cubes that won’t cause choking in your babies. Add them to plain Greek yogurt along with some seeds like chia seeds and honey. Mix everything properly so and feed your baby.

2. Boiled or Poached Fish Like Tuna and Cod (8 Months+)

Boil the tuna or cod slice in water with a pinch of iodized soil. Ensure the fish is cooked through. You can feed it as a mash for younger babies in age-appropriate pieces for slightly older babies.

3. Dried Nori Sheet

Get the fresh nori sheets from the market. wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt and place them under sun for at least three to five days. If you want early, you can put them in the air fryer also.

Iodine is a very important utrient for babies and is generally available through the food they ear. Though iodine deficiency is generally rare, it can lead to some serious health issues in babies. When in doubt, always consult your pediatrician who will be able to identify any possible iodine deficiency and guide you on how to deal with it.


1. What Can Iodine Deficiency Do to a Baby?

Iodine deficiency in babies can lead to growth and developmental issues. It can also lead to conditions such as hypothyroidism and goitre in the long run.

2. How Much Iodine Do Babies Need?

Babies upto 6 months of age will need up to 90 micrograms of iodine per day while babies between 7 and 12 months of age will need up to 110 micrograms of iodine per day.

3. Can I Get an Iodine Supplement For My Baby?

It is better not to give any iodine supplement to your baby unless and until your paediatrician recommends the same.

Read Also: Copper For Babies – Sources and Benefits

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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