Mineral RDIs for kids

children playing in school gym

Just like vitamins, minerals help little bodies grow, develop and stay healthy but are your kids getting what they need? Outlined below are the recommended daily intakes (RDI's), or average daily requirements, of important minerals for different age groups. This information can help you to ensure your kids consume enough of the right foods to obtain the minerals their bodies need.

Calcium

Calcium is required for the normal development and maintenance of bones and teeth. It's also needed for muscle contraction, nervous system signaling and the secretion of hormones.

How much do kids need?

RDI Age group
500mg Children, 1-3 yrs
700mg Children, 4-8 yrs
1000mg-1300mg Children, 9-13 yrs

Good food sources: Calcium can be found in milk, yoghurt and cheese; tofu and canned salmon with soft edible bones; kale, bok choy and broccoli.1 By consuming two to three servings of milk or milk products daily, your child should reach their daily calcium requirements.

Magnesium

Magnesium is important for energy production and normal muscle and nerve function. It's also needed for bone health.

How much do kids need?

RDI Age group
80mg Children, 1-3 yrs
130mg Children, 4-8 yrs
240mg Children, 9-13 yrs

Good food sources: To help meet your child's magnesium needs they could consume a variety of the following foods in their daily diet; spinach, cashews, peanuts, whole wheat bread, avocado, potato, brown rice, bananas and oats.2

Potassium

Potassium is an essential electrolyte that helps maintain proper sodium balance in the blood and tissues, and supports normal muscle function.

How much do kids need?

Adequate Intake Age group
2000mg Children, 1-3 yrs
2300mg Children, 4-8 yrs
2500mg Children, 9-13 yrs

Good food sources: The richest sources of potassium are fruits and vegetables. To help your child consume enough potassium, encourage them to eat foods such as potassium-rich bananas, potatoes, oranges, tomatoes, artichokes, spinach or raisins.3

Zinc

Zinc is involved in children's growth and development as it's required for building new tissues. It also aids in the maintenance of healthy immune function.

How much do kids need?

< RDI Age group
3mg Children, 1-3 yrs
4mg Children, 4-8 yrs
6mg Children, 9-13 yrs

Good food sources: Zinc sources include baked beans, chicken, pork, cashews, swiss cheese, chickpeas, oats, kidney beans and almonds.4

Iron

Adequate iron is needed to help deliver oxygen to the body's tissues and plays a role in energy production. Young kids have greater than average iron requirements to support their rapid growth and development.

How much do kids need?

RDI Age group
9mg Children, 1-3 yrs
10mg Children, 4-8 yrs
8mg Children, 9-13 yrs

Good food sources: The best sources of iron are lean meat and seafood, but it can also be found in white beans, lentils, spinach, kidney beans, chickpeas and cashews.5

Iodine

Iodine is an essential mineral for thyroid hormones that are needed for normal skeletal growth and brain development.

How much do kids need?

RDI Age group
90mcg Children, 1-8 yrs
120mcg Children, 9-13 yrs

Good food sources: Foods that contain iodine include seaweed, seafood, dairy products and eggs. Some fruits and vegetables also provide it, but amounts are variable and dependent on things such as farming practices and the soil that the food is grown.6

Manganese

Manganese is necessary for the normal development and maintenance of healthy bones and joints.

How much do kids need?

Adequate Intake Age group
2mg Children, 1-3 yrs
2.5mg Children, 4-8 yrs; Girls, 9-13 yrs
3mg Boys, 9-13 yrs

Good food sources: Brown rice, pineapple, almonds, oats, beans, spinach and sweet potato.7

Chromium

Chromium is involved in glucose metabolism and may assist in the maintenance of fluctuating blood sugar levels in healthy people.

How much do kids need?

Adequate Intake Age group
11mcg Children, 1-3 yrs
15mcg Children, 4-8 yrs
21mcg Girls, 9-13 yrs
25mcg Boys, 9-13 yrs

Good food sources: Broccoli is a good source of chromium, providing 11mcg in a ½ cup serve. Chromium is also found in small amounts in basil, potatoes, garlic, turkey breast, green beans and apples.8

Selenium

Selenium is an essential trace mineral that assists in the production of active thyroid hormones.

How much do kids need?

RDI Age group
25mcg Children, 1-3 yrs
30mcg Children, 4-8 yrs
50mcg Girls, 9-13 yrs

Good food sources: Seafood and Brazil nuts are among the richest sources of selenium, but it can also be found in beef, turkey, chicken, cottage cheese, brown rice and baked beans.9