Calcium-rich foods for kids

You’ve come to the right place if you’re wondering what calcium-rich foods you should be feeding your child.

Calcium-rich foods for kids
 Kids need more calcium as they get older to support their growing bones.

Calcium is one of the most essential elements for growing children. It promotes the creation and growth of bones and teeth, as well as the maintenance of bone density and mass during adolescence. So, which foods are high in calcium for children? Continue reading to learn more.

The top 10 calcium-rich foods for kids

There are several calcium-rich foods to choose from. We’ve compiled a list of some of them for you to consider including in your child’s diet:

Dairy goods

Calcium is abundant in dairy products such as cow’s milk, yoghurt, and cheese. If your child dislikes milk, you can substitute yoghurt and cheese. It is recommended that you include at least one serving of dairy product in your child’s diet every day.

Citrus fruits

You can offer your child an orange fruit or orange juice because it is high in calcium and also contains Vitamin C, Potassium, Magnesium, and Folate. A medium-sized orange has 50 mg of calcium for your child.

Yeast

Soy is another calcium-rich item that can be included in your child’s regular diet. Soy products such as soy milk, soy yoghurt, and tofu can be used to create yummy dishes for your child. Soy milk is also a viable option for lactose-intolerant children. Including soy in your child’s diet also ensures that he gets enough iron, fibre, and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, and thiamine.

Almonds

Almonds are thought to improve memory and brainpower, but they are also a wonderful provider of calcium. One-third cup of almonds has approximately 110 milligrams of calcium. If your child is old enough to chew nuts, you can give him a handful; alternatively, almonds can be found in almond butter, almond milk, or milkshake.

Vegetables (green)

Many green vegetables, including spinach, okra, broccoli, amaranth, French beans, cluster beans, green peas, and others, are high in calcium. Furthermore, these green veggies give fibre and other elements necessary for your child’s growth. If your child doesn’t like veggies, you can “hide” the vegetables in stir-fries, curries, patties, pizzas, wraps, and so on.

Lentils with beans

Calcium is abundant in beans and lentils such as white kidney beans, navy beans, chickpeas, and soybeans. They are widely available and can be prepared in a variety of ways to supply your child with the necessary nourishment.

Cereals

Cereals are an excellent source of calcium for your child’s diet. Calcium is abundant in ragi, bajra, brown rice, and other grains. You can experiment with other recipes, such as no-bake health bars or cookies, for a crunchy snack.

Meat and fish

Fish such as tuna, trout, shrimp, cod, salmon, and sardines are also high in calcium. Red meat and chicken are also high in calcium, which is essential during your child’s growing years.

Sesame seeds

This is another calcium-rich superfood. Sesame seeds are well-known for their nutty flavour and can be used in salads, pasta, soups, bread, and other dishes. They can be used as the main element in a recipe or as a garnish on your child’s favourite dishes.

Eggs

Eggs contain a lot of protein and vitamins, but they also have a lot of calcium, which helps strengthen their bones and teeth.

Now that you know which foods have the most calcium, you must also know how much of this nutrient your child needs.

Calcium requirements for different age groups

At different ages, your child will require varying quantities of calcium. The best way to consume it is through food; but, if your kid’s calcium needs are not satisfied through food, your paediatrician may prescribe calcium supplements to your child.

The following are the estimated calcium requirements for various age groups:

  • Babies under the age of six months need 200 mg of calcium every day. It is recommended that babies under the age of six months be exclusively breastfed, even if they have a calcium requirement.
  • Children aged one to three years old require 700 mg of calcium every day.
  • Children aged 4 to 8 years old require 1000 mg of calcium every day.
  • Children aged 9 to 18 years old require 1300 mg of calcium each day.

Because our bodies require Vitamin D for proper calcium absorption, it is critical that we have an adequate supply of Vitamin D in our bodies. The conversion of cholesterol in the body to Vitamin D is aided by sunlight. As a result, exposing your kid to sunshine is critical. Vitamin D is also found in foods such as fish and eggs. If your child is deficient in the vitamin, a doctor may recommend supplements.   

Now that you know which foods have the most amount of calcium, you must also know much of this nutrient your child needs.

Amount of calcium required for different age groups

Your kid will require different amounts of calcium at different stages of his age. The ideal way of consuming it is in the form of food; however, if your child’s calcium requirements are not getting met from food, then your paediatrician may prescribe calcium supplements to your child.

Following are the estimated amounts of calcium required by different age groups:

  • Babies less than six months require 200 milligrams of calcium per day. It is recommended that babies below six months of age be exclusivelybreastfed even for their calcium requirement.
  • Kids from 1 to 3 years of age require 700 milligrams of calcium per day.
  • Kids from 4 to 8 years of age require 1000 milligrams of calcium per day.
  • Kids from 9 to 18 years of age require a daily intake of 1300 milligrams of calcium.

Our bodies need Vitamin D for better absorption of calcium, so it is important that there is an adequate amount of Vitamin D in the body. Sunlight aids the conversion of cholesterol in the body into Vitamin D. Therefore, it is essential to expose your baby to sunlight. Foods like fish and eggs are also good sources of Vitamin D. If your kid lacks adequate amounts of the vitamin, a paediatrician may prescribe supplements for the same.

Calcium content in foods

The following chart shows the approximate amounts of calcium in various food items:

Food ItemServing SizeCalcium Content
Whole milk1 cup276 mg
Low-fat yoghurt1 cup311 mg
Cottage cheese1/2 cup125 mg
Soybean1 cup515 mg
Almond¼ cup115 mg
Cooked Spinach1 cup245 mg
Dried Figs1 cup241 mg
White wheat bread1 slice192 mg
Sesame seeds¼ cup280 mg
Cooked green mustard1 cup165 mg
Cooked green turnip1 cup249 mg
Chia seeds¼ cup179 mg

*mg = milligrams