Lactose intolerance is a condition where the body fails to digest lactose. Here are the best non-dairy sources of calcium for your lactose intolerant child.
- One glass of milk makes up for 40% of your childs daily calcium needs
- Lactose intolerance is a condition where the body fails to digest lactose
- Dried figs contain more calcium than other dried fruits
Calcium is essential for your child’s overall growth. Just one glass of milk makes up for 40% of your child’s daily calcium needs; which is essential for his/her growth. But is your child complaining of stomach aches each time you give him a glass of milk? Now, this could either be an excuse to get away from milk or it could be due to lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is a condition where the body fails to digest lactose. Lactose is a kind of sugar found in milk (human, animal and formula milk). When a child is lactose intolerant he is likely to experience a great deal of discomfort due to indigestion. These symptoms are likely to take place:
- Stomach aches
- Rambling sound in the stomach
- Acidic stools
Lactose intolerance does not mean that your child may not be able get calcium all his life. And when we say this, we are certainly not referring to calcium supplements. We are referring to some dairy-free sources of calcium.
Here’s a list of the 6 best dairy-free sources of calcium for your lactose intolerant kid. Take a look.
When we take nuts into consideration, almonds have the highest calcium content. The tiny nut is a good source of healthy fats and proteins as well. Also, they keep metabolic diseases at bay. So if your child is lactose intolerant, you can give him/her a handful of nuts to make up for their calcium requirement.
2. Green vegetables
Some of those leafy greens are a rich source of calcium. Collard greens, kale, broccoli are the best sources of calcium. Your kids may show some tantrums to eat them but trust us, these foods are worth the effort. Just one cup of cooked collard makes up for 25% of your daily calcium requirement.
The pseudocereal is a super-nutritious grain. It is a rich source of folate and high in terms of magnesium, manganese, iron and phosphorus. One cup of cooked amaranth gives you 112 grams of calcium. Your kids may frown at the sight of these foods but you can look for ways to hide it in their food and give it to them.
4. Sardines and canned salmon
These two varieties of fish are high in calcium, thanks to their soft and edible bones. These two are oily varieties of fish and are high in proteins and omega 3 fatty acids as well. Opt for the smaller sardines as they will have lower mercury content.
Dried figs contain more calcium than other dried fruits. They are rich in fiber and antioxidants as well. Figs offer you decent levels of potassium and vitamin K as well. So this dried fruit is a must-have for your lactose intolerant kid.
6. Coconut milk
Coconut milk is a lactose-free variety of milk. This beverage is the perfect alternative for regular milk for your lactose intolerant kid. Coconut milk is derived from the flesh of a mature coconut. 100 grams of coconut milk gives you 16 mg of calcium.
Here are some additional facts:
1. 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds have the same amount of calcium as half-a-glass of milk does. Calcium from sesame seeds is easier to digest for kids.
2. Coconut milk is just as good as regular cow milk. It is closest to a mother’s milk because of lauric acid.
3. In some kids, the body adapts to yogurt because of the fermentation process which breaks down lactose.
5 Ways to Get Calcium if You’re Lactose Intolerant
Calcium is an important nutrient for the human body, including the nervous system, bones, teeth, heart, and muscles. For most people, one of their primary sources of dietary calcium is through dairy products that contain an abundance of calcium. However, if you’re lactose intolerant and avoid dairy products, getting enough calcium can be challenging. Here are some useful tips on how to get enough dietary calcium.
1 – Consider Adding Seeds and Nuts to Your Normal Diet
Most seeds and nuts have a large amount of calcium in them. Some examples include almonds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, pistachios, walnuts, and brazil nuts. If you don’t enjoy seeds or nuts by themselves, they’re are plenty of recipes that involve adding them to other foods.
2 – Get Your Share of Leafy Greens
Ingestion of leafy greens is one great way of meeting the daily recommended intake of calcium. Examples of leafy greens that are a good source of leafy greens include spinach, kale, collard greens, bok choy, and turnip greens. One easy way to get enough leafy greens is to add them to a salad or sandwich.
3 – Make Vitamin D a Priority
Vitamin D does not have calcium in it, but it does help our body absorb and store more calcium. Foods such as eggs, fish, and cereal are good sources of vitamin D. Another healthy way for your body to get vitamin D is to spend time in the sun. Studies have shown that as little as 5 minutes in the sun can help to increase your vitamin D level.
4 – Have Oatmeal for Breakfast
A normal single-serving packet of oatmeal contains about 100 mg of calcium, about 10% of the daily recommendation for adults. Add soy milk or almond milk to the oatmeal for additional calcium!
5 – Consider a Calcium Supplement
If you aren’t getting enough calcium from your normal diet, you should consider a calcium supplement to meet the daily recommended calcium intake amount. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you decide if a calcium supplement is a good idea and can even recommend several over-the-counter supplements.
Getting enough calcium is important, especially as we age, when osteoporosis becomes more prevalent. If you’re lactose intolerant, get in the habit of reading nutrition labels to learn more about the foods you eat and so that you can determine if you’re getting your daily recommended calcium.
Calcium in Non-Dairy Foods
Milk and other dairy products are a major source of nutrients in the American diet. One of the most important of these nutrients is calcium. Calcium is essential for the growth and repair of bones throughout life. In the middle and later years, a shortage of calcium may lead to thin, fragile bones that break easily, a condition called osteoporosis.
A concern for both children and adults with lactose intolerance is getting enough calcium in a diet that includes little or no dairy products.
The Institute of Medicine released a report listing the requirements for daily calcium intake. How much calcium a person needs to maintain good health varies by age group. Recommendations from the report are shown in the following table.
Daily Calcium Recommendations, by Age Group
|Age Group||Amount of calcium to consume daily, in milligrams (mg)|
|0–6 months||400 mg|
|6–12 months||600 mg|
|1–5 years||800 mg|
|6–10 years||1,200 mg|
|11–24 years||1,200–1,500 mg|
|19–50 years||1,000 mg|
|51–70 years||1,500 mg|
In addition, pregnant and nursing women need between 1,200 and 1,500 mg of calcium daily.
In planning meals, people with lactose intolerance should make sure that each day’s diet includes enough calcium, even if dairy products are not included. Many non-dairy foods are high in calcium, including dark green vegetables such as broccoli, or fish with soft, edible bones, such as salmon and sardines. To help in planning a high-calcium, low-lactose diet, the table that follows lists some common foods that are good sources of dietary calcium and shows how much lactose they contain.
Recent research shows that yogurt with active cultures may be a good source of calcium for many people with lactose intolerance. Even though yogurt is fairly high in lactose, the bacterial cultures used to make it produce some of the lactase enzyme required for proper digestion.
Clearly, many foods can provide the calcium and other nutrients the body needs, even when intake of milk and dairy products is limited. However, factors other than calcium and lactose content should be kept in mind when planning a diet. Some vegetables that are high in calcium (Swiss chard, spinach, and rhubarb, for example) are not listed in the chart because the body cannot use the calcium they contain because these foods also contain substances called oxalates, which stop calcium absorption.