Vitamin B6 for Kids: A Complete Guide

Vitamin B6 for Kids: A Complete Guide

Vitamin B6 for Kids: A Complete Guide 

Curious about vitamin B6 for kids? You may have heard it’s essential for growing brains, moods, and healthy energy. But how do you know if your kid is getting enough vitamin B6? Do they need more, and what are the best sources?

In this post we’ll cover the A to Z of vitamin B6 for kids so parents can make informed nutrition decisions—and kids can thrive!

What is Vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6 is one of the broader group of B vitamins. You might associate B vitamins with energy, and that’s because they’re all involved in metabolic health. B6, along with a few other key B vitamins, also work to support the nervous system.

Vitamin B6 is considered “essential,” which means our bodies can’t produce this vitamin. We have to get it through diet or B6 supplements.

Our bodies also can’t store vitamin B6 because it’s water-soluble (it dissolves in water). Kids regularly eliminate this essential vitamin, so they need to get it daily!

Benefits of Vitamin B6 for Children

Vitamin B6 has multiple health benefits for kids.

It plays a major role in your little one’s cardiovascular, nervous, digestion, and immunity systems. It’s absolutely necessary for healthy, growing bodies and brains!

Here, we’ll discuss the top benefits of vitamin B6 for children.

Vitamin B6 is good for kids’ brains!

The early years are a key period of brain development. In fact, 90% of brain growth happens by age five! That fast-growing brain needs proper nutrition in the early years.

The early years are also prime time for learning. Kids need to be calm, focused and energized for the important brainwork.

Lucky for kids, vitamin B6 plays a powerful role in brain development!

To understand the benefits of vitamin B6 for kids, we talked to Dominica Dieffenbach, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) specializing in kids’ nutrition. Dieffenbach explains:

“There’s growing evidence for the role of vitamin B6 in supporting a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B6 increases hormones in kids that can decrease hyperactivity and improve mood, memory, and attention in school.” 

Studies show vitamin B6 may also decrease ADHD-related hyperactivity and aggressiveness so kids can zero in on learning and thrive at school.

Also, children who have been diagnosed with autism are often given additional B6 as an alternative therapy. 

Vitamin B6 helps boost kids’ moods

This one is a no-brainer (pun intended). We’ve discussed how vitamin B6 helps produce hormones that help kids stay calm and focused. Those same hormones are great for overall mental health.

Vitamin B6 helps regulate your little one’s mood by balancing the release of chemicals in the brain. Specifically, B6 helps to create the "feel-good" hormones dopamine and serotonin. That means fewer cranky moods and more smiles.

Vitamin B6 also supports mood by helping the body synthesize Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), the “calming” neurotransmitter. GABA promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and promotes a balanced mood.

Kids can feel more confident to take on the world when they’re supported to feel calm and positive!

Vitamin B6 helps kids get a good sleep

As a parent, sleep is undoubtedly at the top of your agenda. 

Vitamin B6 also helps kids get the sleep they need to be healthy in mind and body. 

Dieffenbach explains, “Adequate levels of B6 support the hormones and neurotransmitters needed to reduce brain activity to allow for restful sleep. The body needs sufficient B6 to convert tryptophan to serotonin and support melatonin production.”

If you’ve been using or considering melatonin to help your child sleep, try increasing their vitamin B6 first. It may improve their own natural production of this sleep hormone.

Vitamin B6 can give children’s immunity a boost

Very few people realize that vitamin B6 is key to immune function. Yet weak immunity is one sign of vitamin B6 deficiency.

B6 helps create new white blood cells, our body's main fighters against disease. We want these guys on our team!

Getting the recommended dose of Vitamin B6 is an easy way to ensure your child’s immune system is prepared.

Vitamin B6 supports metabolism and energy

Remember we mentioned that B vitamins are involved in metabolism? 

Specifically, vitamin B6 plays a role in metabolizing amino acids (which form proteins), carbohydrates, and fats. It helps convert food into energy for growing kids so they can power through days full of learning and play. 

Vitamin B6 is crucial for the health and function of the adrenal glands, which produce hormones that regulate energy and the stress response. 

It’s essential that kids have healthy adrenals so they can act quickly when they need to keep themselves safe (even if it’s just by righting their balance on the playground). Healthy adrenal glands should also help kids return to a calm, balanced state after the stressful situation has passed.

Kids who can bounce back from stress are more resilient. They can confidently take on new challenges because they won’t feel easily overwhelmed.

Vitamin B6 is important for kids who have seizures

If your child has ever experienced seizures or been diagnosed with epilepsy, B6 could be a VERY important supplement for them.

There’s lots of research on the benefits of B6 for treating epileptic patients — even if they don’t have a Vitamin B6 deficiency.

But that’s not all. 

B6 has also been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures, making it a life-changing supplement! 👏👏👏

If your little one struggles with epilepsy, talk to your pediatrician about supplementing with vitamin B6.

Dieffenbach explains why vitamin B6 is important for kids who have epilepsy:

“Children on anti-epileptic medications can experience behavioral and mood challenges. These anticonvulsant drugs can decrease levels of biotin, folic acid, and vitamins B6 and B12 in the body, especially when taken long-term.

Over a decade ago, researchers found that higher doses of B6 can help manage these medication-induced behaviors. Today, this practice is fairly common in the pediatric world. If your child is in treatment for seizures, consult your pediatrician or family doctor about introducing vitamin B6.”

Natural Food Sources of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 naturally occurs in many plant and animal foods. 

Without further adieu, here are 7 foods high in B6 Vitamins to add to your kiddo’s diet.


We know, we know. . . fish isn’t always a picky eater’s number one choice. But the benefits of salmon make this food a no-brainer for their health.

And that’s because salmon is jam-packed with vitamin B6. Just one serving gives an adult 95% of their Daily Value. Which means. . . 

Just a few bites of salmon can meet your kiddo's recommended daily dose of vitamin B6!

Salmon also topped our list of vitamin D-rich foods. It is loaded with omega-3s and a good source of iron. 


Coming in just behind salmon is chicken. Lean chicken breast is a solid source of vitamin B6. Look for unprocessed chicken, however. Chicken fingers and the like can be popular with kids, but highly processed chicken is filled with junk!

100 grams of chicken delivers about 0.4 mg of vitamin B6, just under the amount a toddler needs daily. That’s a piece of chicken about the size of a deck of cards.


Bananas are a sweet treat and are high in vitamin B6. One medium banana delivers 0.4mg of vitamin B6; a toddler’s daily requirement is just 0.5mg.

Combine bananas with almond butter, berries, or a healthy smoothie for kids for a healthy treat.

Sweet Potatoes

Speaking of sweet. . . Sweet potatoes are also a vitamin B6 powerhouse. Plus, their orange color means they’re rich in antioxidants — perfect for fighting those free radicals!

One sweet potato delivers about 0.3mg of vitamin B6. Remember that the youngest kids (ages 1-3) need 0.5mg daily, which increases as kids grow.


White and red-skinned potatoes are as high in vitamin B6 as sweet potatoes.

They don’t have the antioxidant power of sweet potatoes, but they tend to be more popular with picky eaters because of their lack of color—something about colorful food makes our kiddos say, “Nope.”

But before you order some french fries, remember that many healthy ways to prepare potatoes offer more nutrition. The less processed, the better.


If you’re looking for a superfood loaded with healthy fats, and packed with vitamin B6, then we’re about to guac your world! Because avocados made the list!

One whole avocado contains 0.5mg of vitamin B6, which is enough to meet the daily needs of a toddler or preschooler.

Sure, not all kids will eat green foods. But you can sneak avocado into smoothies, sauces or even make avocado pudding!


If your kid can eat nuts, then dig into this news! Many types of nuts can be a good source of vitamin B6. Here are a few that deliver:

  • Pistachios
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Walnuts

Raw nuts make an easy snack and can be used as a topping for oatmeal or yogurt. Roasted nuts lose some nutrition, so try to keep them raw.

Is your kid getting enough vitamin B6 from food?

Foods high in vitamin B6 support healthy bodies, powerful minds, and sunny moods. How do you know if your kid is getting enough, though?

RDN Dieffenbach explains, “For children who eat a varied diet, a B6 deficiency is not common. However, kids with ADHD and kids who are vegetarians, are extremely picky eaters, and/or are on a limited diet would especially benefit from supplementing with B6.”

We’ll talk more about vitamin B6 supplements for kids below.

How to Identify Vitamin B6 Deficiency in Kids

As you can see, vitamin B6 is very important for kids. You’re probably wondering if your kid gets enough.

Fortunately, vitamin B6 deficiency is not common in the United States, but there are some cases of children not getting enough B6 in their diet.

Over time, a vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to nerve damage in the hands and feet. Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Tingling or burning sensation in  their arms, legs, and fingers
  • Low muscle tone
  • Delayed physical growth
  • Delayed developmental growth or regression
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • General irritability
  • Insomnia

If your child has these symptoms, consider increasing their intake of vitamin B6 and consult your family doctor or pediatrician.

How to Ensure Your Child Gets Enough Vitamin B6

The National Institution of Health sets out recommended amounts and upper limits of vitamin B6 for people of all ages.

Life Stage

Recommended Amount

Birth to 12 months

0.1 to 0.3mg

Children 1–3 years

0.5 mg

Children 4–8 years

0.6 mg

Children 9–13 years


Teens 14–18 years

1.2 to 1.3mg

(Source: National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements)

You have a few options if you’re not sure your child is getting enough vitamin B6.

One, consider keeping a food journal for your child. Track the foods they eat and their amounts, and look up the B6 for each item. Then, add up the amounts to determine whether a typical day includes enough B6.

You could also consider their overall health. Do they seem calm and focused, with strong immunity and good energy? They may be getting enough B6. If they could use help in those areas, try to increase their B6.

Finally, you can ask your medical practitioner to test your child for nutrient 

RDN Dieffenbach explains, “A deficiency is not common for children who eat a varied diet containing foods rich in vitamin B6. However, kids who have an autoimmune disorder such as celiac (or Crohn’s disease) and kiddos who are extremely picky are more susceptible to having a deficiency.” 

Risks of Too Much Vitamin B6 for Kids

If too little vitamin B6 is risky, is too much dangerous?

When used as a supplement in appropriate doses, vitamin B6 is safe. Everything in moderation!

The daily upper limits for vitamin B6 are much higher than the recommended daily intake.

Life Stage

Recommended Amount

Upper Limit

Birth to 12 months

0.1 to 0.3mg

Not established

Children 1–3 years

0.5 mg

30 mg

Children 4–8 years

0.6 mg

40 mg

Children 9–13 years


60 mg

Teens 14–18 years

1.2 to 1.3mg

80 mg

(Source: National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements)

As you can see from this table, kids would have to take a lot of vitamin B6 to reach a risky level!

For example, Renzo’s Bright and Brainy B6 delivers 10mg of this vitamin per melty tab. To reach the upper limit, a toddler would have to take three times this daily amount.

What if your child is already taking a multivitamin? Read the label to see if it contains vitamin B6 and check the amount against the recommended intake.

For example, Renzo’s Picky Eater Multi has 0.64mg of vitamin B6 per tablet. 

(Renzo’s Picky Eater Multivitamin includes vitamin B6)

Avoid high doses of vitamin B6. Taking high doses over time can cause health issues such as:

  • A lack of muscle control or coordination of voluntary movements (ataxia)
  • Painful, disfiguring skin lesions
  • Heartburn and nausea
  • Sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity)
  • Numbness
  • Reduced ability to sense pain or extreme temperatures

B6 is eliminated from the body through urine, so the symtoms tend to disappear when people stop taking the high doses.

Choosing the Best Vitamin B6 Supplement for Kids

With so many vitamins for kids, it can be hard to understand which vitamins are necessary for your child. It’s important to choose wisely so you don’t waste your money or potentially give your child too much of a good thing!

The best way to ensure your little one gets enough of this vitamin is through a healthy and balanced diet with foods naturally high in vitamin B6. 

But if your kid is a picky eater, you know that getting them to eat a healthy and balanced diet is far from easy! 

Your kid may get enough B6 some days and too little other days. Some kids may need slightly more B6 to be focused, calm, have steady energy, strong immunity, and more. If you notice these are areas your child could use support, consider a supplement.

Dieffenbach explains, “Even for kids who aren’t deficient in this vitamin, vitamin B6 supplementation can still have positive outcomes.”

That’s why there’s Renzo’s Bright & Brainy B6. Made with the world’s most energetic form of Vitamin B6 and all the yumminess of “Oh Oh Orange” natural flavor, your kiddo’s growing brain will get all the energy it needs to work at full potential!

Renzo’s Bright & Brainy B6 is. . .

⇒ Created with trustworthy ingredients (no sugar, artificial flavors, or colors)

⇒ Packed with the most energetic form of vitamin B6 

⇒ Yummy enough for the pickiest of eaters. We’re not kidding! Renzo’s Melty Tabs are Picky Eater approved — or your $$$ back!

Recap: Vitamin B6 is Essential for Kids

Let’s recap the reasons every kid should get enough vitamin B6.

Vitamin B6 has been shown to support a healthy nervous system, including the brain! It can support focus and calm, so kids can learn.

Vitamin B6 promotes upbeat moods by helping the brain create important neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, the “feel-good” and happiness hormones, and GABA, a calming neurotransmitter.

Vitamin B6 also promotes better sleep by playing a role in producing melatonin, so kids can fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up ready to conquer the day!

Supplements are a smart solution if your child is a picky eater, shows signs of vitamin B6 deficiency, or has a condition that benefits from vitamin B6.

A high-quality vitamin B6 supplement can support healthy bodies, powerful minds, and sunny moods—seriously, can it get any better than that?
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