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Potassium Restriction Diet 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 they eat. Some children may have trouble staying at a normal potassium level. They may need to limit or not eat foods with high amounts of potassium.

What foods are high in potassium?

Most foods contain some amount of potassium. It is important to stay away from 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. Below are foods grouped by the amount of potassium. (Portion size: 1/2 cup.)

Low (0 to 100 mg) Medium (101 to 200 mg) High (201 mg or more)

Fruits: applesauce, blueberries, cranberries, cranberry juice, grape juice, lemon, papaya nectar, peach nectar, canned pears, pear nectar

Fruits: apples, apple juice, apricot nectar, blackberries, cherries, canned figs, fruit cocktail, grapes, grapefruit, lemon juice, mango, papaya, peaches, pineapple, plums, raisins, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, tangerines, watermelon

Fruits: apricots, avocado, bananas, cantaloupe, dates, dried figs, grapefruit juice, honeydew melon, kiwi, nectarines, oranges, orange juice, fresh pears, prunes, prune juice

Vegetables: alfalfa sprouts, bamboo shoots, green or wax beans, bean sprouts, raw cabbage, cucumber, lettuce, peppers, water chestnuts, watercress

Vegetables: artichoke, broccoli, cooked cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, greens (collard, mustard), corn, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, green peas, radishes, summer squash, turnips (and greens)

Vegetables and beans: asparagus, beets (and greens), baked beans, dried beans and peas, Brussels sprouts, butter beans, okra, potatoes, hash browns, french fries and chips, sweet potatoes (yams), pumpkin, tomatoes, tomato products, tomato juice, vegetable juice, spinach

Miscellaneous: 100% bran cereals, molasses, chocolate, salt substitutes, lite salt, buttermilk, nuts

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

  1. Peel and dice the vegetable.

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

  3. Drain and rinse the vegetable thoroughly in warm water.

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

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