Calcium For Your Child
You already know that calcium is an important building block for your child’s bones and teeth. It also helps the blood clot and does many other things. Children need a lot of calcium. They get it in what they eat and drink every day.
Most foods have some calcium in them. But the very best foods for calcium are the foods in the Milk, Yogurt and Cheese group.
Young children should get 5 servings a day from this group. This would be 5 servings of milk that are 1/2 cup each. Or, instead of 1/2 cup of milk, give a slice of cheese or 1/2 cup of yogurt or 1 cup of cottage cheese.
If Your Child Does Not Like Milk try These Ideas!
- Is your child going through a stage? Give water with meals, not sweet drink. Wait for this stage to pass.
- Give milk drinks with snacks. Cocoa, lowfat chocolate milk and milk shakes are fun to drink. Make a “smoothie” in a blender with milk, ice and fruit. Bananas and strawberries are great.
- Cheese is high in calcium. Give it for snacks, on sandwiches or as a part of meals.
- Make soup with milk. Let your child drink it from a cup. It is easier to eat that way.
If Your Child Cannot Digest Milk
- There is probably some amount of milk that your child can have without any problems. Figure out what amount that is and give that amount regularly. Try cheddar cheese and other cheeses. Your child may have no problem with them.
- Make sure your child is eating a lot of different foods from all of the food groups. Many foods from the food groups have some calcium in them and they do add up. Most junk foods do not have any calcium in them.
Here are some foods high in calcium:
- Dried beans of all kinds
- Dried peas of all kinds
- Split pea soup
- Chili with beans
- Mustard greens and turnip greens