Calcium is a key factor to your child’s nutrition and growth, it contributes to strong and healthy bones they’ll need for adulthood. As a Mum you want to make sure your child is getting enough calcium, but aren’t sure how much to give them. We have got the daily recommended intake, dairy servings by food and the importance of this mineral for your child’s nutrition and growth.
Why is Calcium Important?
We all know calcium contributes to strong teeth and bones but why is this the case? Getting the right amount for your child at an early age will encourage maximum bone strength as they move into adulthood. Calcium is a mineral that mainly comes from eating dairy food products, if you are not eating enough calcium-rich products your body has to take it from the bones instead, which weakens them. So eating calcium-rich foods replenishes bones with lost calcium and reinforces its natural strength.
How much Calcium should my child consume?
Recommended daily amounts by age:
1 to 3 years old – 700 milligrams
4 to 8 years old – 1,000 milligrams
9 to 18 years old – 1,300 milligrams
Apart from Milk, which foods contain calcium?
Milk is often the greatest source of calcium and Nunu Milk contains 30% of your child’s daily nutrients – learn more about this here.
For other food sources you can try:
- Soy Foods
- Broccoli! – Did you know?
1 to 3 years = 1½ serves
4 to 8 years = 2 serves
9 to 11 years = 2½ – 3 serves
12 to 13 years = 3½ serves
One dairy serve is equivalent to:-
- 1 cup (250ml) milk
- 2 slices (40g) cheese
- ¾ cup (200ml) yoghurt
- 1 cup calcium fortified soy drink
Milk is one of the best sources of calcium and you should try to give your child at least 2 glasses of milk a day for them to get their daily recommended intake. Try to avoid sodas and caffeinated drinks as they can interfere with the way the body absorbs and uses calcium.
Calcium also needs to be supported by plenty of vitamin D and exercise to work properly. Encourage your child to play outside and participate in regular physical activity to help build strong bones.
For more information around Kids Nutrition, try our article on how to keep a Balanced Diet.