Everyday Nutrition: B12 Needs for Preschooler


How much B12 does our 4-year-old need and what’s the best supplement?

We do not require much vitamin B12—no matter the age. We just need it consistently in our diet. A 4-year-old requires 1.2 micrograms per day to meet the recommendation. This is most easily met by 2 doses every week of 500 mcg. The best supplement is the one that your child will actually take! I know that may sound snarky, but it is the truth. Some children will gladly chew a tablet will others prefer the spray. Additionally, this could be met by consuming 2 daily servings of fortified foods, like non-dairy beverages, cereal bars, & nutritional yeast.

I should also note that the recommendations above are based on the cyanocobalamin form of B12. There is some discussion among folks who do not want to take the cyano form of B12 because there is a cyanide group attached in this compound versus a methyl group as found in the methylcobalamin form of B12. Most of the research on B12 has been conducted with cyanocobalamin—hence why the daily recommendations are based on this type. If you opt for the methyl version, kiddos likely need to take around 500 mcg per day.

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Disclaimer: Although Anya Todd, R.D. and Kara Rienzo, R.D.N. are registered dietitians, the nutrition content provided on is for educational and informational purposes only. Any or all changes to your diet and lifestyle should always first be discussed with your professional healthcare providers. assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences resulting directly or indirectly from any action or inaction you take based on the information found on or material linked to on this website.

Posted in Advice Columns, Everyday Nutrition, Young Children (4-9)

Anya is a registered, licensed dietitian with more than a decade of experience in clinical settings, research, education, and community outreach. Currently, Anya is pursuing a graduate degree in Sustainable Food Systems. When not working or studying, she runs the Mid-Ohio Animal Welfare League, a volunteer-operated nonprofit that provides foster care to medically needy companion animals and brings low-cost vet services to under-served areas. Read more about Anya.