Children & Teenagers

You know that eating the right foods can help you be healthy and strong, right? Well, folate (FOE-late) or folic (FOE-lick) acid is a special vitamin that helps you be healthy! Here's how:

  • Folate helps make DNA. DNA tells the cell what it will be and how it will work. Your body makes lots of new cells every day and each cell needs DNA. DID YOU KNOW...your body replaces cells in your small intestine about every 5 days? That's about 17 billion (17,000,000,000) new cells your body makes every few days!
  • Folate is needed to make red blood cells. Your body makes new red blood cells every day. They help you have the energy to do things like run, swim, ride your bike, and play sports.
  • As you get older, folate may help you keep away certain diseases. It also can help mothers have healthy babies.

How to Get the Folate You Need

Do you take a vitamin every day? If so, it probably has folic acid in it. Check with your parents or guardian and look at the Nutrition Facts panel on the vitamin bottle. Look for the words "Folic Acid".

Some foods have folate. Foods like enriched bread, rice, and pasta have folic acid added to them. Other foods have folate, too, like orange juice, beans, spinach, and peanuts. Here are some fun ways to get more folate! Be sure to ask your parents or guardian if you can help make these fun food recipes or before using any kitchen tools or appliances.

  • Freeze 100% orange juice and make juice pops.
  • Put some strawberries and cheese cubes on toothpicks for fun finger foods.
  • Make a smoothie.
  • Make "Ants on a Log". Put some peanut butter on celery. Add raisins on top of the peanut butter. (Do NOT eat peanut butter if you are allergic to peanuts.)
  • Try some peanuts for a snack. (Do NOT eat peanuts if you are allergic to them.)
  • Mix up a trail mix. Use cereal with folic acid, peanuts, and dried fruit such as raisins or banana chips. (Do NOT eat peanuts if you are allergic to them.)

Girl playing softball

Boys in a swimming pool