Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble micronutrient. Even before its discovery in 1932, nutrition experts identified that something in citrus fruits could prevent scurvy, a disease that killed as many as two million sailors between 1500 and 1800. 

Vitamin C is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It's involved in the following:

  • Plays a role in controlling infections and healing wounds
  • Is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize harmful free radicals. 
  • Is needed to make collagen, a fibrous protein in connective tissue that is weaved throughout various systems in the body: nervous, immune, bone, cartilage, blood, and others. 
  • Helps make several hormones and chemical messengers used in the brain and nerves

The RDAs* for vitamin C in children are as follows:

  • Age 1-3 years - 15 mg
  • Age 4-8 years - 25 mg
  • Age 9-13 years - 45 mg
  • Age 14-18 years (males) - 75 mg
  • Age 14-18 years (females) - 65 mg

Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of this vitamin.

Foods which contain Vitamin C are as follows:

  • Citrus (oranges, kiwi, lemon, grapefruit)
  • Bell peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower)
  • White potatoes

*RDA- Recommended Dietary Allowances


  1. What are the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for vitamin C in children? (n.d.).

  2. Harvard. (2012, September 18). Vitamin C. The Nutrition Source.