Children's Health and Wellness

Potassium Restriction for Children

Potassium requirements for children with kidney failure

Potassium is very important to the body. But too much potassium in the blood can be harmful. When your child's kidneys don’t work well, too much potassium can build up in the blood. Your child's body receives potassium from the foods he or she eats. Some children may have trouble staying at a normal potassium level. They may need 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 healthcare provider 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 watch your child's portion sizes. This is especially important if your child 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 peasBrussels sproutsButter beansOkraPotatoesHash brownsFrench fries and chipsSweet potatoes (yams)PumpkinTomatoesTomato productsTomato juiceVegetable juice Spinach



Miscellaneous100% bran cerealsMolasses and chocolateSalt substitutes Lite saltButtermilkNuts

(Portion sizes: 1/2 cup)

Some potassium can be removed from potatoes and other vegetables. Follow the instructions below:

  • Peel and dice the vegetable.

  • Soak the vegetable in hot water for 2 hours, or in cold water overnight.

  • Drain and rinse the vegetable thoroughly in warm water.

  • Cover the vegetable with fresh water, boil for 5 minutes, and simmer until done.

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

  • Online Source: Potassium and Your CKD Diet, National Kidney Foundation
    Online Source: Nutrition and Kidney Disease, Stages 1-4, National Kidney Foundation
    Online Editor: Tchang, Kimberly
    Online Medical Reviewer: Adler, Liora C., MD
    Online Medical Reviewer: Hanrahan, John, MD
    Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2017
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