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Top 10 Phosphorus Rich Foods For Children

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Brazil nutsPhosphorus Rich Foods are an irreplaceable component of children’s diet, because phosphorus is responsible for proper cell functioning, regulation of calcium, healthy bones and teeth, and for production of the energy providing molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Deficiency of this mineral can impair growth and development in children, as it causes in poor appetite, anemia, muscle pain, numbness, improper bone formation (rickets), and an impaired immune system. Over consumption phosphorus which could happen due to accidental or intentional supplement intake can cause bone weakening, reduce the formation of the active form of vitamin D (calcitriol) in the kidneys, reduce blood calcium, calcification of internal organs and soft tissue, and interfere with the body's ability to use certain minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc)


Recommended Dietary Intake (RDA)

As both phosphorus excess and deficiency are detrimental for bone health, the mineral should be taken in adequate quantities. Given below is the RDA of phosphorus for children.


Life stage



Infants 0 – 6 months


Infants 7 - 12 months


Children 1 - 3 yrs


Children 4 - 8 yrs


Children 9 - 18 yrs




Food Sources of Phosphorus

Phosphorus is found in almost every food, but the degree of absorption differs from person to person. Also, the amount absorbed from meat products as compared to plants sources. A few of the phosphorus rich foods are milk, yogurt, cheese, whole grains, nuts, lentils, legumes, hard potatoes, whole wheat bread, cereals, beef, chicken, egg, halibut, herring, kidneys, liver meat, poultry, and  turkey.


Top 10 Phosphorus Rich Foods


  1. Bran (Rice & Oat): Bran is one of the healthiest food additions, one of the reason is its phosphorus content . Rice bran contains 1677mg and oat bran contains 690 mg of the mineral per 100g.
  2. Pumpkin, Squash &Watermelon seeds: These humble seeds when roasted can provide 1172 – 815mg of phosphorus per 100g serving.
  3. Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds contains many valuable nutrients, one of which is phosphorus (1158mg/100)
  4. Toasted Wheat Germ: Toasted wheat germ that can be added to cereals, salads or desserts is rich in phosphorus (1146mg/100g serving)
  5. Cheese: Parmesan cheese has the highest phosphorus content (807mg/100g), followed by Romano, Hard Goat Cheese, Mozzarella, Gruyere, Swiss, Gouda, Edam, Cheddar, Tilsit, and Provolone.
  6. Sesame Seeds and Tahini: Sesame sees contain 744 mg of phosphorus per 100g serving, and sesame butter which predominantly contains sesame seeds contains 221mg /100g.
  7. Nuts (Brazil & Pine): Nuts are an excellent source of phosphorus, Brazil and Pine nuts give 725mg and 575mg of phosphorus per serving, followed by cashews, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnuts.
  8. Roasted Soybean: Edamame or roasted soybean, consumed as a snack, contains 649mg/100 serving.
  9. Flax seeds: Flax seeds consumed in any form provide 642mg per 100g serving.
  10. Bacon: Bacon when consumed in moderate quantities is good for health as it a good source of phosphorus (591mg/100g), providing 35mg per slice.


How to incorporate it in Children’s Diet

Most of the ingredients mentioned above like bran, seeds, flax, and soyabean can be added to many recipies like cookies, waffles, pancakes, bread, pizza dough, etc without you children’s knowledge. They do not alter the taste of the food, yet the nutritive value is enhanced.


Note: Children, especially ones under 2 yrs are prone to food intolerance and allergy. Introduce any new food slowly and cautiously. If you are aware of you child's food allergies avoid the any food that contains that particular allergen completely.


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Top 10 Phosphorus Rich Foods For Children