Calcium is an important building block in our diets. The proper amount of calcium results in strong, healthy bones as well as strong teeth. Vitamin D plays a supportive role, and should be understood for it’s important role in helping the body absorb the incoming calcium. Many parents want to know if their child is receiving enough calcium to keep healthy and develop properly. This is especially true for those children who do not like to drink milk (8 ounces contains about 300 mg of calcium).
Guidelines For Calcium Intake
This amount needed varies by the age of the child:
-1 to 3 years old — 700 milligrams daily
-4 to 8 years old — 1000 milligrams
-9 to 18 years old — 1,300 milligrams
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, only one in five children meets even the minimum standards for calcium intake. But most kids ages 9 to 18 do not get the recommended 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day.
Foods To Ingest For Calcium (Besides Milk)
Sometimes a refusal to drink milk is just a matter of taste. A good option is to try to use flavored milks, such as chocolate or strawberry milk (which has less sugar than juice or soda), and drinkable yogurt, which is loaded with calcium. Another good way to make milk taste better are by making milkshakes or healthy smoothies.
-Yogurt (8 ounces contains about 400 mg of calcium)
-Cheese (Think grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, or lasagna)
-Calcium-fortified orange juice
-Calcium-fortified soy milk
-Calcium-fortified breads and cereals
If your child is allergic to milk or is lactose intolerant, you may not be able to use many of the above suggestions to help increase their calcium intake. Luckily, there are many products and supplements available to provide the necessary calcium that your child requires.
Calcium is an essential part of a healthy diet for children and adults. The importance of the proper amounts of calcium found in our nutrition is vital to the proper development of a child. Without proper intake of calcium, growth can be stunted, teeth and bones may not be as strong. There are many options available to provide your child with the right amount of calcium. Find what works best for you and your family!