Pediatric Nutrition

Potassium-Rich Foods

Potassium is an important mineral in our bodies that acts in metabolism as well as other important body functions, such as:

  • Regulating acid and water in the blood and body tissues
  • Building muscle
  • Supporting normal body growth
  • Supporting proper function of the nerve cells in the brain and body

Most Americans receive plenty of potassium through an average diet. Although there is no recommended daily allowance for potassium, experts usually recommend 2 - 2.5 grams per day. Most Americans take in between 2 and 6 grams per day. However, there are certain conditions that can cause low potassium, conditions such as:

  • Vomiting, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems
  • Renal (kidney) disease
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications (diuretics, laxatives, cortisone)

Potassium depletion can also occur in certain athletes, such as marathon runners or other serious athletes, who overcompensate for dehydration by consuming too much water while sweating heavily.

A short term lack of potassium can cause fatigue. A prolonged lack of potassium can lead to more serious conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), congestive heart failure, or cardiac arrhythmias.

If your child's doctor has recommended that your child consume more potassium-rich foods, here are some suggestions:

Apricots Oranges
Bananas Papaya
Beans (white, lima, and pinto) Peppers
Bran/All Bran Potatoes
Cantaloupe Prune juice
Carrot Juice Prunes
Dates Raisins
Figs Spinach
Honeydew Melon Sweet potatoes
Kiwi Tomatoes
Molasses Winter squash
Nectarines