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Vitamin K is an important vitamin that promotes the healthy clotting of blood and prevents excessive bleeding. It’s also used to promote healthy bones. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the fatty tissues of your body. There are several forms of vitamin K, including vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K1 is found in leafy green vegetables, while vitamin K2 is found in meats. Vitamin K is also produced by the body through bacteria that are found in the gastrointestinal tract.

While vitamins are needed to help your child grow and develop normally, is it necessary or even safe for children to take vitamin K? What is the recommended amount of vitamin K that children need each day, and what are some natural food sources of vitamin K?

Does vitamin K occur naturally in foods?

Since vitamin K is available naturally in a variety of foods, they are the best and most effective way for children to meet their daily requirements. These foods are rich in vitamin K:

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Liver
  • Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, green leaf and romaine lettuce, collards, mustard greens, kale, parsley and turnip greens
  • Other vegetables, including cabbage, broccoli, asparagus and cauliflower

How much vitamin K do kids need?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) indicates how much of each vitamin is needed for a variety of age groups. According to the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine, the RDA of vitamin K for children is:

  • 1-3 years old: 30 micrograms/day
  • 4-8 years old: 55 micrograms/day
  • 9-13 years old: 60 micrograms/day

Should children take vitamin K supplements?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children who consume a healthy diet do not require vitamin supplementation that exceeds the RDA. Although vitamin K is considered safe and causes very few side effects if the recommended amounts are carefully followed, children should receive their nutrients from eating nutritious foods.

Like other vitamins, taking large doses of vitamin K can be harmful and even toxic in some cases. Vitamin K can also have a negative effect on some medications your child may be taking. Talk with your pediatrician if you think your child may not be getting enough vitamin K.

Takeaways

  • Vitamin K is fat-soluble and is essential for blood clotting.
  • It is found in many types of foods and is also made naturally by the body.
  • Taking more than the RDA of vitamin K may be harmful.
  • Children should receive vitamin K from food sources and do not require supplements of the vitamin.      

References

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Where We Stand: Vitamins.
  2. Mayo Clinic. Should I give multivitamins to my preschooler?
  3. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Vitamin K.

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Comments

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  1. Thank you for the great information. After reading this I think my kids are getting enough vitamin K just by the foods we all eat so I will not be looking for supplements.

  2. Interesting article, thank you.

  3. Thank you for encouraging healthy eating that provides the requisite nutrients and vitamins rather than relying on supplements!

    1. I believe strongly in eating your nutrients instead of supplements whenever possible!