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Top 10 Manganese Rich Foods For Children

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hazel nutsManganese is a mineral required for enzyme functioning, nutrient absorption, wound healing, and bone development. Intake of Manganese Rich Foods would help maintain healthy bones, nerves, promote optimal function of thyroid gland, protect cells from free radicals, and help body utilize several key nutrients like biotin, thiamin, ascorbic acid, and choline. Manganese deficiency can cause seizures, epilepsy, poor muscle coordination, facial twitching, bone deformities, general weakness, and especially among children it may lead to stunted growth and development. However, deficiencies are a rare occurrence. Manganese toxicity from food sources is also rare, but can adversely affect the neurological system.


Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

Children need manganese in limited quantities, identify you kids needs from the RDA table given below.

Life Stage

RDA of Manganese

(mg/ day)

Children 1-3 Yrs


Children 4-8 Yrs


Children 9-13 Yrs


Boys & Girls 14-18 Yrs



Food Sources of Manganese

Some manganese rich foods nuts, green leafy vegetables, peas, beets, egg yolk, whole grain cereals, organ meats, bran, fruits, black tea, mustard greens, kale, chard, raspberries, pinnaple, romaine lettuce, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, maple syrup, molasses, garlic, grapes, squash, strawberries, oats, spelt, green beans, brown rice, garbanzo beans, ground cloves, cinnamon, thyme, peppermint, turmeric, leeks, tofu, broccoli, whole wheat, tempeh, cucumber, peanuts, millet, barley, figs, bananas, kiwifruit, carrots, and black beans.


Top 10 Manganese Rich Foods For Children*


1. Spices (Cloves and Saffron): Spices like cloves, saffron and cardamom are good sources manganese. Ground clove is the richest source (2.1mg/tablespoon), followed by cardamom, ground ginger, cinnamon, dry spearmint, parsley, bay leaf, tarragon, turmeric, dry coriander, and dried marjoram.

2. Wheat Germ and Wheat, Rice & Oat Bran: Toasted wheat germ is a rich source of manganese (20mg/100g). Wheat, rice and oat bran can provide 16.8 – 6.7 mg manganese per cup.

3. Nuts (Hazelnuts, Pecans, Pine nuts): Nuts are a wonderful source of manganese; hazelnuts provide the most manganese with 12.7mg/ 100g. Other nus that are good sources are : hickory nuts, english walnuts, macadamias, and almonds

4. Mussels, Oysters and Clams: Shellfish are a good source of minerals including manganese, steamed blue mussels provide 5.8mg of manganese per 3 ounce.

5. Cocoa Powder and Dark Chocolate: Children love chocolate, and chocolates including  baking chocolate (4.2mg/100g), cocoa powder (3.8mg/100g), and milk chocolate (0.5mg/100g are good sources of manganese

6. Roasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds: Pumpkin and squash seeds contain 0.5mg of manganese/100g serving.

7. Flax and Sesame Seeds: Dried sesame and flax seeds provide 2.5mg manganese per 100 gram serving, and sesame butter contains 0.41m/tablespoon.

8. Roasted Soybean: Roasted soybeans also known as edamame, is a great source of manganese (2.2gmg/100g).

9. Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds provide 2.11mg manganese / 100 gram serving.

10.   Green Leafy Vegetables: Add greens to diet. Green Leafy vegetables like mustard greens, amaranth greens, spinach, lettuce, etc are good sources of manganese

 *The list of manganese rich foods has been modified to suit the children’s palate; where in rich sources like paprika and red chili powder have been excluded.


How To Incorporate it in Children’s Diet

Whole grain germ and bran can be added to many homemade recipes like muffins, cookies, bread, pizza dough, etc and given to children.  Seeds can be toasted and added as a garnish or for that extra crunch in salads.


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 Manganese Rich Foods For Children