You asked

How much magnesium does my child need, and which foods provide it?

Magnesium is used to keep bones healthy and strong, and to regulate the rhythm of your heart. It also aids your immune system in fighting off infections. It’s therefore important that you make sure that your child is getting enough from his or her diet.

When your child is under three, he or she needs to get 80 milligrams of magnesium every day, and children aged four to eight need one hundred and twenty milligrams.
Some of the best sources of magnesium in your child’s diet are nuts and nut butters, soybeans, spinach, and halibut, oatmeal, whole grain bread and fruits like avocados and bananas. It’s also available in most pulses or legumes, and in dairy products like milk and yoghurt.

You may find that your child does not take in the recommended daily allowance of magnesium every day – that’s fine – rather try to aim for the average over a few days or a week, by choosing magnesium rich foods wherever possible.

If your child is getting all of his or her magnesium from food, then it’s unlikely that he or she will get too much. However, its worth noting, if your child is on a vitamin supplement too, that too much magnesium can result in stomach cramps and diarrhoea.

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