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Lead and Nutrition

It is harder to get lead into the blood when children eat regular meals and snacks along with foods high in calcium, iron and zinc.

  • Foods high in calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli, tofu, corn tortillas, sardines, salmon, dark green leafy vegetables and peanuts.
  • Foods high in iron include lean meats, chicken, dried beans, cereal with iron, oatmeal, split peas, dried fruits, raisins and dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Foods high in zinc include red meats, poultry, fortified cereals and grains.
  • Vitamin C also helps the body to absorb iron. Foods that are rich in vitamin C include kiwi, oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, bell peppers, fruit juice, strawberries, collard greens and broccoli.
  • Fatty foods allow the body to absorb lead faster and should generally be avoided. Serving high fat foods less often can also help protect children from lead poisoning. High fat foods include fried foods, french fries, donuts, cookies, ice cream, candy, snack crackers and fast food.