Topic Overview

Good nutrition may help prevent
lead poisoning. But if
the environment is highly contaminated with lead, nutrition alone will not
prevent lead poisoning.

Children absorb more lead than adults
do. But both children and adults are likely to absorb more lead if they are
fasting or do not get enough iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, or vitamin C in their diets. People who eat high-fat diets also absorb more lead.

  • Make sure that your children eat breakfast soon
    after getting up and that they have regular snacks and meals.
  • Wash
    all fruits and vegetables before cooking or eating.
  • Never store
    food in opened metal cans, especially if the can is not manufactured in the
    United States. If there is lead in the metal or the solder, it can be released
    into the food after air gets into the can.
  • Don’t prepare, serve, or
    store food or drinks in ceramic pottery or crystal glasses unless you are sure
    they are lead-free.
  • Make sure your child eats healthy foods that include calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin C. Talk with your doctor before you give your child vitamin and mineral supplements.
    • Milk, yogurt,
      cheese, and some green vegetables, such as broccoli and kale, contain
    • Red meat, eggs, fortified cereals, cooked beans, and raisins are a good source of
    • Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and milk are a good source of phosphorus.
    • Meats, fish, poultry, and vegetables
      are a good source of zinc.
    • Citrus fruits, cantaloupe, strawberries, papayas, mangoes, kiwifruit, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, and vegetables in the cabbage family are a good source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
  • If you reuse plastic bags to store food, make sure the
    printing is on the outside.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD – Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP – Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology

Current as ofMay 4, 2017