A growing child needs potassium for good health and development. This mineral helps the body maintain healthy blood pressure. It also promotes excellent muscle function and heart rhythm. Ensuring that your child gets their daily potassium requirement may also come in handy when they get older as it reduces their risk of developing kidney stones and suffering from osteoporosis.
Children between the age of one and three years old need 3,000 milligrams of potassium per day. On the other hand, those who are between the ages of four and eight need 3,800mg. Take note, however, that getting too much potassium can be as dangerous as not having enough of this mineral. As such, make sure that you carefully watch over your children’s daily potassium intake.
If you think your children need more potassium, here are some of the fruits and vegetable that you can incorporate in their diet to ensure that they are getting the right amount of this much-needed mineral.
Believe it or not, sweet potatoes (not bananas) are the best source of potassium. One sweet potato contains 694mg of potassium. It is also rich in fibre and beta-carotene, as well as a good source of carbs to keep your child energised. Versatile and can be used in a wide range of dishes, you can serve sweet potato baked, mashed, fried, or stuffed.
Tomatoes are excellent sources of potassium, too, but if you want to fully enjoy their benefits, you should have them pureed. One quarter cup of tomato paste contains 664mg of potassium, while half a cup of tomato puree has 549mg of this vital mineral. Cook spaghetti often to ensure that your children will have a healthy dose of potassium.
While they are often disregarded, beet greens should be part of your children’s diet. Half a cup of these slightly bitter greens contain 644mg of potassium. They are also rich in antioxidants and a great source of folate. Serve them raw or cooked.
Bananas have always been known as a good source of potassium and what’s best about them is that many children love this fruit. One medium-sized banana contains 422mg of potassium. It also contains vitamins A and C. Bananas can be made into virtually anything. You can add them to cereals and smoothies, or include them in breads and pastries.
Encourage your children to eat prunes if they are suffering from potassium deficiency. Prune juice contains 530mg of potassium per 3/4 cup, while half a cup of stewed prunes have almost 400mg of this mineral. Prunes are also good for your children’s bones.