Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamins for Children

Getting the right amount of vitamins on a daily basis helps children grow and develop normally, both physically and cognitively. A 2009 review in “Pediatric Clinics of North America” suggests the most common vitamin deficiency among healthy children is vitamin D. Although many children meet their daily nutrition needs by eating a healthy diet, vitamin supplementation is sometimes necessary to prevent deficiencies.


The amount of each essential nutrient your child requires each day is based on age. Recommended dietary allowances, or RDAs, exist as guidelines to help each child meet individualized nutritional needs, and are estimated to meet the needs of the majority – 97 to 98 percent – of kids in each age category. If insufficient scientific evidence is available to establish an RDA, an adequate intake, or AI, is available, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Essential Vitamins

Child drinking milk

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Vitamin RDAs

In general, older children require more of each essential vitamin than younger kids.

Adequate Intakes

Child drinking milk

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Although RDAs haven’t been established for vitamin K, pantothenic acid, biotin and choline, they are still essential vitamins. Adequate intakes exist for them instead of RDAs. The Institute of Medicine reports that children ages 1 to 13 require 30 to 60 micrograms of vitamin K, 2 to 4 milligrams of pantothenic acid, 8 to 20 micrograms of biotin and 200 to 375 milligrams of choline. Older children often need more of each vitamin than younger children.

Meeting Vitamin Needs

Good sources of vitamin D -- lacking in many children's diets -- include:

  • milk
  • yogurt
  • egg yolks
  • fish
  • vitamin D-fortified orange juice
  • fortified breakfast cereals

Being in sunlight helps your child's body make vitamin D.