It is very important for a mother to be careful about her child’s diet as the right amount of nutrition in the growing years ensures good health and fitness later in life. Calcium is one of the most important nutrients for growing children. It aids in the formation and development of bones and teeth and helps in maintaining bone density and bone mass during adolescence.
Where Does Calcium Come From?
Calcium is found in food. Some foods are very high in calcium. Dairy foods like these are among the best natural sources of calcium:
- hard cheeses, like cheddar
The percentage of fat in milk and other dairy foods doesn’t affect their calcium content — nonfat, 1%, 2%, or whole all have about the same amount of calcium. Your health care provider will let you know which type of milk is right for your child.
Some kids can’t eat dairy. They have to get calcium from other foods, such as:
- calcium-set tofu
- calcium-fortified soy drinks
- edamame (soybeans)
- broccoli, collard greens, kale, chard, Chinese cabbage, and other leafy greens
- almonds and sesame seeds
- white beans, red beans, and chickpeas
- oranges, figs, and prunes
Because calcium is so important, food companies often add it to cereal, bread, juice, and other kid-friendly foods.
How Much Calcium Does My Child Need?
Calcium is measured in milligrams (mg). We need different amounts at different stages of life. It’s best if kids get most of their calcium from food. If that’s not possible, health care providers might suggest a calcium supplement.