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Health Library : Genitourinary and Kidney Disorders

 

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)
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 (2 Tbsp.)
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
Asparagus
Beets (and greens)
Baked beans
Dried beans and peas
Brussel sprouts
Butter beans
Okra
Potatoes
Hash browns
French fries and chips
Sweet potatoes (yams)
Pumpkin
Tomatoes
Tomato products
Tomato juice
Vegetable juice (V8)
Spinach
  Miscellaneous
100 percent bran cereals
Molasses and chocolate
Salt substitutes (NoSalt)
Lite salt (SaltSense)
Buttermilk
Nuts

(Portion sizes: 1/2 cup)

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

  1. Peel and dice the vegetable.
  2. Soak the vegetable in hot water for two 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 five minutes, and simmer until done.
  5. Drain and serve (boiled, fried, or mashed) or freeze for later.

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