Blood Donation Tips

Getting ready to donate blood

To be able to donate, you must:

  • Be at least 17 years of age or 16 with a signed permission slip.
  • Weigh at least 120 pounds and have a picture ID. BloodTips_ID-(1).png
  • Be feeling healthy and well.
  • Not had a tattoo in 3 months. BloodTips_Tattoo.png
  • Hydrate your body with water! A hydrated body makes for a successful donation. When you think you have had enough, DRINK MORE!


  • Eat the morning of the blood drive. BloodTips_Breakfast.png
  • Prepare by eating iron-rich foods. Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, which needs to be at a certain level to donate. Increasing your intake of vitamin C will help your body absorb iron. On the back, see a helpful list of foods you can eat.

As a blood donor, you’re an essential part of saving lives. The more you do to take care of yourself and prepare for donation, the more local patients you’ll be able to help. A hydrated body makes for a successful donation. When you think you have had enough, DRINK MORE!

Foods High in Iron

Eating the following foods will help boost your iron & prepare your body for donating blood.



  • Watermelon
  • Prunes
  • Dried Apricots
  • Dried Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Prune Juice
  • Raisins
  • Dates
  • Figs



  • White Bread (enriched)
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Enriched Macaroni
  • Wheat Products
  • Bran Cereals (Total)
  • Corn Meal
  • Oat Meal
  • Rye Bread
  • Enriched Rice



  • Liver
  • Liverwurst
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Ham
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Veal
  • Pork



  • Shrimp
  • Dried Cod
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Oysters
  • Haddock
  • Clams
  • Scallops
  • Tuna



  • Spinach
  • Beet Greens
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • String Beans
  • Collards
  • Kale
  • Chard

Vitamin C


  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Greens
  • Cantaloupe
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Cabbage
  • Fortified Juices

Other Foods


  • Eggs (Any Style)
  • Dried Peas
  • Dried Beans
  • Instant Breakfast
  • Corn Syrup
  • Maple Syrup
  • Lentils
  • Almonds
  • Sunflower Seeds

How much iron do I need?

We recommended daily allowance varies slightly by age and gender, but most adults need 18mg of iron daily from food or supplements. Below are a few examples of how much iron foods and supplements can provide.

Breakfast cereals (iron fortified with 100% DV for iron) = 100% of daily value


Spinach (boiled and drained) = 17% daily value


Dark Chocolate (3oz) = 39% of daily value


Lean beef = 11% daily value


Dietary Supplements

Iron is available in many dietary supplements such as multivitamin/multi-mineral supplements that contain 18mg iron, which provide 100% of DV recommended.