Children & Teenagers

The B vitamin folate is needed for proper growth and development. It is important that children and teenagers get plenty of folate every day.

Folate and Teenagers

The teenage years are a time of maturity, growth and development. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for folate for boys and girls age 14 to 18 years is 400 micrograms Dietary Folate Equivalents (DFE)*; however, there are special considerations for teenage girls.

Emerging research shows that folate may help adults reduce the risk of certain diseases like cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Research shows that the early stages of heart disease can begin early in life--even during childhood. It's never too early for your children to develop healthy eating habits to carry with them the rest of their lives.

Teenage Girls

Teenage girls and boys need plenty of folate every day. But getting enough folic acid is especially important for teenage and younger girls. Their bodies have begun to change to prepare them for future motherhood. They have special folate needs and according the U.S. Public Health Service and the Institute of Medicine, should get 400 micrograms of folic acid every day from a vitamin supplement or fortified foods. They also should eat a healthy diet that includes folate-rich foods.


  • *Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences. Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline . National Academy Press, Washington DC, 1998.

Girl doing a backbend

Group of teenagers

Folate is needed for proper growth and development. Teenage girls should get in the habit NOW of making sure they get plenty of folate every day.

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