The daily calcium requirements for a child must be met for the child to develop strong bones. This mineral is a major mineral that is present in a child's bones. A calcium-rich diet is necessary not only for the development of strong bones but also for the proper functioning of body.
Once children begin puberty, they require high levels of calcium. The 1300mg intake for children and teens of 9-18 years can be met by taking about four glasses of milk daily.
Young school going children of 4-8 years need 800mg daily. This requirement can be met by consuming three glasses of milk daily. On the other hand, toddlers aged 1-3 years can take two glasses of milk to meet their 500mg requirement.
Milk is recommended for children because it has a lot of calcium. Children who take milk daily easily meet their daily requirement. Research shows that half of young children and fewer teenagers meet their daily calcium requirements. Thus this is a wake up call to the parents to ensure that their children get enough of this nutrient.
It is more challenging for children with milk allergy to meet their requirement. However there is hope because they can take foods that are rich in this mineral. Parents with such children should ensure they read food labels properly.
Calcium content on food labels is represented in percentages, like 5%, 15% etc. The percentage means the daily value you can get from one serving of the particular food. 1000mg is used as 100% daily value. So 20% calcium is equivalent to 200mg - that is 20% × 1000.
To meet the needs of your child or teen, go for products with a minimum calcium value of 20% i.e 200mg. The higher the value the better the product.
Mashed sweet potatoes
Orange juice (Calcium fortified)
Multivitamins with Calcium
A daily multivitamin may not necessarily mean that a child is getting enough calcium. When you examine some of these ‘complete’ vitamins, they only have 75-100mg of calcium. This is far less the requirements of say a school age child.
However some vitamins have higher levels of up to 20% calcium. But you have to read the labels carefully to identify them.