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Foods High in Vitamin B12 for the Vegetarian or Vegan Child

Maryam Malekian • MS, Registered Dietitian • Oct 04, 2012

vitamin B12 has a vital role in cell division and blood formation in the body; therefore, it is especially important for growing children to have reliable sources of vitamin B12 in their diet. Our body cannot produce vitamin B12Bacteria are responsible for producing vitamin B12.

In general, plant foods do not contain vitamin B12, thus, vegans need to look to fortified foods or supplements to get vitamin B12 in their diet.  Although recommendations for vitamin B12 are very small (Table 1), a vitamin B12 deficiency is a very serious problem and may lead to anemia and permanent nerve damage. If you are raising a vegan or vegetarian child, make sure you will include sources of vitamin B12 in their diets. 

Food Sources For Vitamin B12*:

healthy vegetarian child

Rich sources of vitamin B12 include: 

  • dairy products             
  • eggs
  • vitamin-fortified cereals
  • vitamin-fortified breads
  • vitamin-fortified soy
  • vitamin-fortified rice drinks
  • vitamin-fortified nutritional yeast


Read good food sources of zinc for the vegetarian-vegan child


The chart below indicates Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDAs) for vitamin B12*:

Age Male Female
0-6 months* 0.4 mcg 0.4 mcg
7-12 months* 0.5 mcg 0.5 mcg
1-3 years old 0.9 mcg 0.9 mcg
4-8 years old 1.2 mcg 1.2 mcg
9-13 years old 1.8 mcg 1.8 mcg
14+ years old 2.4 mcg 2.4 mcg
* Adequate intake








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Written by Maryam MalekianWritten on Oct 04, 2012Last updated on Oct 16, 2013




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