Children’s Calcium: Unlocking the Secrets to Strong, Healthy Bones

Learn about children's calcium

Have you ever contemplated the key to your children’s super-powered nutrition? While you might focus on fats, carbs, and calories, the true star of the show is calcium! Calcium, the unsung hero, plays a crucial role in building strong and sturdy bones for your little ones.

Children’s Calcium: Decoding the Right Amount

The amount of calcium children need changes with age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following daily calcium intake:

  • Ages 1-3: 700mg (roughly two servings of milk)
  • Ages 4-8: 1,000mg (approximately three servings of milk)
  • Ages 9-18: 1,300mg (around four servings of milk)

However, many kids, particularly teens, don’t meet their daily calcium requirements. So, let’s explore the realm of calcium-rich foods to ensure your kids get their essential dose!

Calcium Champions: Beyond the Milk Carton

Milk might be the reigning calcium king, but a whole league of calcium superheroes is eager to grace your child’s mealtime:

  • 300-450mg of low-fat unflavored yogurt per serving (1 cup)
  • 350mg of American cheese per serving (2 oz)
  • 300mg of cow’s milk (either whole or low-fat) per serving (1 cup)
  • 300mg of calcium-enriched soy milk, rice milk, or goat’s milk per serving (1 cup)
  • 300mg of calcium-infused orange juice per serving (1 cup)
  • 161mg of cooked dried white beans per serving (1 oz)
  • 169mg of dried figs per serving (10 figs)
  • 120mg of spinach per serving (1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked)
  • 50mg of oranges per serving (1 medium orange)
  • 100mg of instant oatmeal (1 packet)
  • 44mg of sweet potatoes per serving (1/2 cup mashed)
  • 35mg of broccoli per serving (1 1/2 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked)

With these calcium-rich food options, your child’s plate will be brimming with the nutrients they need for strong bones!

Other calcium-rich options include collard greens, spinach, tofu, lentils, sardines, and salmon. These foods are perfect for children with milk allergies, too!

Boosting Children’s Calcium Intake: Tips and Tricks

Bear in mind that calcium content can differ between brands. To ensure your kids get enough calcium, look for foods containing at least 20-30% of their daily value (DV) on the nutrition facts label. For older kids, target a total of 130% DV per day.

Calcium-fortified foods, like bread and cereal, can help increase your child’s daily calcium intake. Check the nutrition facts label for calcium-rich options.

For picky eaters or children who don’t like traditional calcium sources, consider calcium supplements like 4 gummies or a chewable calcium supplement after discussing them with your pediatrician. Keep in mind that most multivitamins don’t provide enough calcium, so you may need to explore alternatives like Tums or calcium chews with vitamin D, such as Viactiv.

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of children’s calcium, it’s time to make calcium the centerpiece of your child’s diet!

Creative Ideas for Calcium-Rich Meals

Struggling to make calcium-rich meals that your kids will love? Here are some fun and delicious ideas:

  • Pizza Night: Make a pizza loaded with calcium-rich toppings like cheese, spinach, and broccoli.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Choose calcium-fortified bread and high-calcium cheese for a calcium-packed lunch.
  • Lasagna Love: Layer your lasagna with spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella for a calcium-rich twist.
  • Burrito Bonanza: Fill your burritos with beans, cheese, and even some calcium-fortified tofu for a calcium fiesta!

Remember, the key is to get creative and have fun in the kitchen while incorporating calcium-rich foods into your child’s meals.

The Importance of Calcium: A Recap

Ensuring your child gets enough calcium is essential for strong and healthy bones, muscle function, and nerve transmission. To help your kids meet their daily calcium requirements, offer a variety of calcium-rich foods, including calcium-fortified options. For picky eaters or children with allergies, consider calcium supplements after consulting your pediatrician.

With these tips and tricks, your kids will be on their way to becoming calcium superheroes, ready to conquer the world with strong bones and vibrant health!

Sky Uni
Sky Uni M.S. Psychology

Contributor at

Sky Uni is a Conscious Parenting Coach with 10 years of experience, and an expert in product reviews. She’s a passionate yoga and meditation enthusiast, loves coastal destinations, and enjoys spending time with her Bengal cats. Sky brings her fun-loving spirit and energy and her Master’s in Psychology to all of her work, helping families make informed decisions and create more harmonious relationships.

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