Calcium is an important mineral that helps build our bones and teeth. Because kids are constantly growing, it is important to make sure they get calcium to help their bones and teeth grow strong and healthy.
When a menu item has the calcium icon, it contains at least 20% of the Daily Value for calcium.
Sources of Calcium
Calcium is found in many foods, but some have more calcium than others. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests three servings of low-fat or nonfat milk or other dairy products each day to reach our body’s calcium needs.1 Good sources of low-fat or non-fat dairy include low-fat or nonfat milk, cheese, and yogurt. Click here to learn more about dairy, how much of it your child needs, and what a serving is.
Handy Tip #1: Children between 1 and 2 years of age should drink whole milk for growth and brain development, but after 2 years of age most children can be switched to low-fat and nonfat dairy products.
For people who do not consume dairy or who are lactose intolerant, there are many vegetable sources of calcium as well like brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, and mustard greens. Calcium can also be found in calcium-fortified orange juice, soy milk, rice milk, lactose-free milk, and some calcium-fortified cereals.
In the U.S., many males and females do not regularly reach their daily calcium needs. The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) of calcium for children is as follows:
|Children 1-3 years||700 milligrams/day|
|Children 4-8 years||1000 milligrams/day |
|Children 9-18 years||1300 milligrams/day|
Try out some of these calcium-rich recipes that you and your child can make together!
1. Calcium. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Website. January 2013. Available at: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6794&terms=calcium. Accessed August 10, 2013.
2. Berning J, Beshgetoor D, Byrd-Bredbenner C, Moe G. Wardlaw’s perspectives in nutrition. 9th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. 2013: 512-523.