Foods With Calcium For Toddlers

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There are so many foods with calcium for toddlers. Let’s take a look at a few top ones below!
When you are talking about calcium for toddlers, there are several sources that are bound to give your toddler exactly what he needs. The key is to find a food that not only tastes good but also satisfies the nutritional requirements of having enough calcium for toddlers.

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Foods With Calcium For Toddlers

Children grow at a rapid pace and require a nutritionally adequate diet that supports this rapid growth. Calcium plays an important role in the growing up years and knowledge about calcium rich foods for babies and toddlers is essential for parents.
Calcium is integral to building healthy bones, muscles and teeth. Here’s how to make sure your child consumes enough (hint: milk isn’t the only option!).

What is calcium?

Calcium is a mineral that is integral to building healthy bones, muscles and teeth. And because your child’s body is in prime bone-building (and muscle-building, and teeth-building) mode, now is the time to make sure she’s getting as much of this important mineral as possible.

How much calcium does my toddler need?

How much calcium should you aim for in your tot’s diet? Use this as a guide:

  • Babies 0 to 6 months: 200 milligrams of calcium per day (from breast milk or formula)
  • Babies 7 to 12 months: 260 milligrams of calcium per day (from breast milk or formula)
  • Kids ages 1 to 3: 700 milligrams of calcium per day
  • Kids ages 4 to 8: 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day

For a toddler between the ages of 1 and 3, 700 milligrams is about two to three servings of dairy products daily (though remember that dairy is not the only food group that’s loaded with calcium).

Best calcium-rich foods for toddlers and kids

Dairy products are one of the best (and toddler-friendly) ways to help your little one get enough calcium. Two to three servings of dairy will easily add up to the 700 milligram daily goal of calcium for toddlers. Each of the following counts as one serving:

  • 1 cup of milk (either whole or low-fat milk based on your toddler’s needs). For an extra calcium kick, add two tablespoons of a powdered instant-breakfast mix.
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1½ ounces of natural cheese, like cheddar or Swiss
  • 2 ounces of American cheese
  • 1 cup of ice cream or frozen yogurt

Still, dairy products are not the only way to fill up on this all-important nutrient. Is your child allergic to milk? Lactose intolerant? Simply milk averse? Offer these non-milk sources of calcium to your tot.

IMPORTANCE OF CALCIUM FOR GROWTH

Calcium is an important mineral that supports bone and teeth development.

Not just that, calcium is also important for;

  1. Proper nerve function, sending and receiving nervous system signals
  2. Muscle function, proper muscle contract, on and relaxation
  3. Maintaining proper hormone levels in the body
  4. Needed for maintaining a normal heartbeat
  5. For clotting of blood.
  • Calcium-fortified cereals and breads
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice
  • Calcium-fortified rice milk, soy milk or tofu
  • Oranges
  • Figs
  • Prunes
  • Dark-green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, peas and collard greens. Note that spinach is touted as a great source of calcium for toddlers (a cup contains about 200 milligrams), but it’s also high in oxalic acid, which interferes with calcium absorption, so spinach’s calcium isn’t as available as that in other greens.
  • Beans (such as chickpeas, white beans and edamame)

How do I make sure my toddler gets enough calcium?

To help your toddler bone up on calcium, keep these tips in mind:

Sneak dairy onto the plate

Is your tot not a milk lover? There are still plenty of easy and delicious ways to hide calcium-loaded dairy in your child’s meals and snacks. Tricks to try:

  • Use milk in place of water when making hot chocolate, oatmeal, pudding and pancakes.
  • Blend yogurt into fruit smoothies.
  • Serve yogurt as a dip for sliced fruit.
  • Sprinkle shredded cheese onto vegetables, omelets, tacos and pasta.
  • Blend cheese into mashed potatoes or meatballs. It will add a creamy richness but your toddler won’t have to know why.

Learn labels

Get familiar with nutrition label lingo. To tell if a product is a good source of calcium for toddlers, look at the “% Daily Values” on food labels. The Daily Value (DV) stands for the recommended amount of a nutrient that an adult should get each day.

Even though the DV corresponds to an adult’s needs (the DV for calcium for adults is 1,000 milligrams), you can still get a sense of how rich a product is in calcium for toddlers by keeping an eye on that food’s “% Daily Value.” For example, a food that provides 5 percent of the DV for calcium in a serving is a low-calcium food; foods that provide 10 percent are considered “good”; those supplying 20 percent or more are an “excellent” source of calcium.

Don’t forget about vitamin D

Without vitamin D, the body can’t absorb calcium. That makes vitamin D just as important as calcium for toddlers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children between the ages of 1 and 3 get 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily. One way to make sure your toddler gets her quota is by allowing her to get a little sun (our skin makes vitamin D when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays). But before you send your tiny tot outside to soak for hours at a stretch, know that just a few minutes of sun exposure each day should do the trick.

You should also make sure your toddler eats foods that are rich in vitamin D, including:

  • Milk (most brands are fortified with 100 IU of vitamin D per cup)
  • Many cereals
  • Some orange juice
  • Some yogurt

Foods that naturally contain vitamin D include:

  • Beef
  • Cheese
  • Egg yolk :

    Egg yolks are the yellow part at the center of an egg. They contain high levels of cholesterol but also provide a range of vital nutrients and health benefits.

    Eggs are a low cost, nutrient dense food that is easy to access and prepare, making them an excellent dietary staple for many people worldwide.

    They are extremely versatile. People can prepare eggs in several different ways or use them in many aspects of food preparation, cooking, and baking.

    An eggshell is the hard, outer covering of an egg. It consists mostly of calcium carbonate, a common form of calcium. The rest is made up of protein and other minerals (1Trusted Source).

    Calcium is an essential mineral that is abundant in many foods, including dairy products. Lower amounts are also found in many leafy and root vegetables.

    In the past decades, eggshell powder processed from hen eggs has been used as a natural calcium supplement. Eggshells are roughly 40% calcium, with each gram providing 381–401 mg (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

  • Half an eggshell may provide enough calcium to meet the daily requirements for adults, which is 1,000 mg per day

    AGEWISE REQUIREMENTS OF CALCIUM 

    How much calcium does a child need?

    1-3 yr olds  700 mg/day

    4-8 yr olds 1000 mg/day

    9-13 yr olds 1300 mg/day

    14- 18 yr olds 1300mg/day

    CALCIUM REQUIREMENTS FOR BABIES UNDER 1 YEAR OF AGE

    Babies get their calcium from breast milk or formula.

    Babies younger than 6 months old need 200 mg of calcium a day and babies 6 to 11 months old need 260 mg of calcium a day.

    Do note babies should only consume breast milk or formula. Do not give cow’s milk or any other animal milk to babies younger than 1 year of age.

    To get an idea of how I pair foods and build snacks to aid maximum absorption of nutrients you must check my ebook on toddler snack recipes.

    It includes 36 snack recipes for toddlers and adults alike that fill in the nutritional gaps of the day. Its your one-stop resource for all things snacks.

    Does My Child Need To Take A Calcium Supplement?

    Osteoporosis is undoubtedly a pediatric disease! What does that mean? It means that this disease that mostly affects the elderly begins in childhood, especially in adolescence. Inadequate building of bone during the early adolescent years leads to a smaller bone “bank” and a greater risk of osteoporosis in later life. With this knowledge, parents would like to know if they should be giving their child a calcium supplement, and if so, which one? The answer to this is not simple. When the Institute of Medicine recently released new guidelines for vitamin D intake they also released new guidelines for calcium intake for all ages. These new guidelines included some important recommendations for children with an emphasis on an inadequate intake by adolescent girls. The most important new recommendation is an increase in the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for children (ages 4 to 8) to 1,000 mg each day. The new RDA for adolescents (ages 9 to 18) is 1,300 mg each day. As parents know, getting to these intakes isn’t that easy. For children to get their recommended intake of calcium and vitamin D, they should get 2-3 servings of dairy products and/or fortified foods (such as fortified breakfast cereal and fortified orange juice) each day. But many children don’t meet these recommendations. Teenage girls often avoid dairy and have limited alternative sources of calcium. For these children, a calcium supplement may not be a bad idea. Ideally, calcium should be combined with vitamin D and it may be best to choose one that has other minerals such as magnesium and zinc. It is not usually necessary or even a great idea for children to take high doses of calcium supplements (e.g. 1,000 mg each day). A supplement with 200-500 mg each day of calcium, depending on a child’s age and dietary calcium intake, should be plenty.

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