Children's Health and Wellness

Potassium Restriction

Potassium requirements for children with renal failure

Potassium is very important to the body, but too much potassium in the blood can be harmful. When your child's kidneys do not work well, too much potassium can build up in the blood. Your child's body receives potassium from the foods he or she eats. If your child is having trouble maintaining a normal potassium level, it may be necessary to limit or avoid foods with high amounts of potassium.

What foods are high in potassium?

Most foods contain some amount of potassium. It is important to avoid or limit foods that are high in potassium if your child is on a low-potassium diet, or if your child's blood level of potassium is too high.

Some foods that are high in potassium include:

  • Bananas

  • Prunes

  • Oranges

  • Potatoes

  • Orange juice

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Grapefruit juice

  • Tomato sauce

  • Cantaloupe

Use the following list as a guide in your child's food choices. Your child's doctor or dietitian will let you know how much potassium your child can have each day.

Potassium content of foods

Most fruits, juices, and vegetables are high in potassium, especially when eaten raw. Be sure to monitor your child's portion sizes, especially if he or she is on a low-potassium diet.

Low (0 to 100 mg)

Medium (101 to 200 mg)

High (more than 201 mg)

FruitsApplesauceBlueberriesCranberriesCranberry juice

Grape juiceLemonPapaya nectarPeach nectarCanned pearsPear nectar

FruitsApplesApple juiceApricot nectarBlackberriesCherriesCanned figsFruit cocktailGrapesGrapefruitLemon juiceMangoPapayaPeachesPineapplePlumsRaisins (2 Tbsp.)RaspberriesRhubarbStrawberriesTangerinesWatermelon

FruitsApricotsAvocadoBananasCantaloupeDatesDried figsGrapefruit juiceHoneydew melonKiwiNectarinesOrangesOrange juiceFresh pearsPrunesPrune juice

VegetablesAlfalfa sproutsBamboo shootsGreen or wax beansBean sproutsRaw cabbageCucumberLettucePeppersWater chestnutsWatercress

VegetablesArtichokeBroccoliCooked cabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryGreens (collard, mustard)CornEggplantMushroomsOnionsGreen peasRadishesSummer squashTurnips (and greens)

VegetablesAsparagusBeets (and greens)Baked beansDried beans and peasBrussel sproutsButter beansOkraPotatoesHash brownsFrench fries and chipsSweet potatoes (yams)PumpkinTomatoesTomato productsTomato juiceVegetable juice (V8)Spinach

 

 

Miscellaneous100 percent bran cerealsMolasses and chocolateSalt substitutes (NoSalt)Lite salt (Salt Sense)ButtermilkNuts

(Portion sizes: 1/2 cup)

Some potassium can be removed from potatoes and other vegetables by following the instructions below:

  • Peel and dice the vegetable.

  • Soak the vegetable in hot water for two hours, or in cold water overnight.

  • Drain and rinse the vegetable thoroughly in warm water.

  • Cover the vegetable with fresh water, boil for five minutes, and simmer until done.

  • Drain and serve (boiled, fried, or mashed) or freeze for later.

  • Online Source: National Kidney Foundationhttp://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/potassium.cfm
    Online Source: National Kidney Foundationhttp://www.kidney.org/patients/plu/plu_nutr/nutr_2.cfm#f
    Online Editor: Geller, Arlene
    Online Medical Reviewer: Bass, Pat F. III, MD, MPH
    Online Medical Reviewer: Berry, Judith, PhD, APRN
    Date Last Reviewed: 1/18/2013
    © 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.