While many different food products and parenting magazines will stress the importance of well-balanced meals for your kids that include vitamins X, Y, and Z, one nutrient that often gets left out of the mix is potassium. While most healthy individuals have sufficient levels of potassium in their bodies, this can only occurs if an individual is regularly eating healthy foods. Potassium deficiency in children can lead to many diseases and conditions that are common to adults, like hypertension, heart disease, weight gain, and depression. A common symptom of potassium deficiency is fatigue. To keep potassium at the recommended levels here are a few foods that are delicious and kid friendly.
Bananas are one of the best and most well-known sources of potassium, and kids can’t seem to get enough of them! A great combination that children find particularly delightful is peanut butter and banana, but you can also slice it up and throw it in virtually anything—from cereal to smoothies, to even the occasional ice cream, turning a treat into something somewhat healthy.
2. Baked and Sweet Potatoes
Both baked potatoes and sweet potatoes are vegetables that kids in particular enjoy, and they are both loaded with potassium. Instead of feeding your children grease-laden French fries, try slicing both baked sweet and regular potatoes, salting them lightly, and serving with a healthy fresh salsa instead of ketchup.
Although carrots were never my personal favorite when I was growing up, I did find them palatable when combined with a dipping sauce. While ranch dressing isn’t the healthiest thing, kids can’t stop with this one dressing, so think of ways to make it healthier. Some grocery stores stock a yogurt-based ranch dressing, with a fourth of the fat and calories. What’s more, yogurt happens to be a great source of potassium, too!
4. Vitamin supplements
Many doctors stress the fact that potassium levels should be adequate with a healthy diet, and a vitamin supplement should only be used to, well, supplement, real food. Some children, however, may have a specific deficiency in potassium for some reason or another, which may require additional supplements. The only way you can actually find out about this deficiency is to talk to your pediatrician, who can recommend certain blood tests to discovery any inadequacies in diet.
While the foods listed above are some popular sources of potassium, pretty much every healthy food item will have a certain amount. Again, the most important thing to keep potassium levels adequate is to make sure you vary your child’s balanced diet as much as possible, to keep eating fun and healthy! For more information about potassium rich foods, check out this resource .