Kids Hate Dairy? – Kids Nutrition From Non-Dairy Sources
Drinking milk or any type of dairy in general has always been the go-to for getting your daily requirement for calcium. Traditionally whole milk, Homogenized 3%, is given for kids nutrition to provide tons of calcium and fat for our growing babies’ or toddler’s needs. However, today, there are increasing cases of intolerances to dairy and many individuals who have chosen to become vegans or vegetarians. Not to mention, dairy products being acidic to the body and may actually be leaching calcium out of your child’s bones.
There are increasing cases of intolerances to dairy and many individuals who have chosen to become vegans or vegetarians.
Calcium is a very important mineral for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth, especially in our growing children. Getting enough calcium early in life can help prevent osteoporosis later on. Calcium is also needed to maintain function of the heart and muscles.
HOW MUCH CALCIUM IS NEEDED FOR KIDS NUTRITION?
Calcium needs increase with every stage. Infants and babies who drink breast milk or formula will get enough calcium from those sources.
Here is a chart showing the recommended amount of calcium our children need everyday.
babies 0-12 months 250mg
children 1-3 years 700mg
children 4-8 years 1000mg
children 9-18 years 1300mg
NON-DAIRY SOURCES OF CALCIUM
When milk doesn’t do a body good, what are the best sources of calcium? I prefer whole food sources, but many products on the market are fortified with calcium making it easy to get the daily requirements. Here is a list of my favorite nutritionally dense, calcium rich foods you can add to your meals.
Collard Greens, cooked – 1 cup has 268 mg
Collard Greens are perfect as a side dish and great when added raw to smoothies.
Spinach, cooked – 1 cup has 245 mg
Throw a handful of spinach into a smoothie or soup for an instant boost of calcium
Canned Salmon with bones – 277 mg per can
Make sure you eat the bones! This is where most of the calcium is coming from. They are so soft that you can mash them up into the salmon and don’t have any taste at all. Perfect for salmon salad sandwiches or salmon patties.
Sesame Seeds – 1tbsp has 88 mg
Sprinkle on soups and salads or throw a tbsp into a smoothie
Firm Tofu – 1/2 cup contains 253 mg
Great in stir-frys, wraps or bread them to make yummy tofu fries
QUICK TIP: Supplement with vitamin D to help in the absorption of calcium.
Recommended DV Chart Source: eatrightontario.ca