For growing youngsters and teens, getting enough calcium rich foods are essential for developing bone mass, which can help prevent osteoporosis and fractures in later life. However, at the age of twelve, fewer than 10% of girls and 33% of boys have enough daily calcium: 700 mg for children 1 to 3 years old; 1,000 mg for ages 4 to 8; and 1,300 mg — equal to about four cups of milk — for ages 9 through 18. Here are 12 fun ways to
Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt Make a Dairy Go-Round
“Other foods’ tiny amounts of calcium add up,” says Ellie Krieger, a registered dietitian who is also a mother and an Everyday Health Healthy Eating expert. “For the most part, however, dairy products provide us with the real amount of calcium we need.” A cup of cow’s milk has roughly 300 mg of calcium, which is about the same as 1 cup of yogurt, 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese. For toddlers age 2 and older, substitute low-fat and nonfat dairy products for their regular counterparts. “It’s better to drink plain milk, but flavored milk is better than none at all,” adds Krieger.
Calcium-Fortified Soymilk is Soy Good
What if your youngster can’t or won’t drink cow’s milk? Milk, cheese, and yogurt produced from soybeans are all examples of foods that contain extra calcium. Soymilk is simply not as high in calcium as cow’s milk. Soymilks without added calcium have only 10 mg of calcium per cup, and the body has a tough time absorbing it. Calcium-fortified soymilk and soy products contain as much calcium as cow’s milk, if not more. Soy items may be used in the same way as dairy foods are, such as pouring over cereal or packing into a lunch.
Orange Juice Can Help You Get More Calcium
Fortified orange juice is rich in calcium, with 500 mg added to each cup. The calcium content of various orange juice brands varies, so be sure to check the nutrition facts. Keep in mind that the “daily value” stated on labels is based on the requirements of adults up to the age of 50: 1,000 mg. Children and adolescents require 500 to 1500 mg per day, depending on their age. Krieger says that while fortified orange juice is a wonderful way to get calcium, fresh oranges each of which has about 50 mg of calcium naturally.
Toss in a handful of tofu cubes
Advanced language skills are required to obtain the most calcium from tofu. That’s because the amount of calcium in tofu is determined by how it was prepared. The bottom line: Tofu produced with calcium sulfate contains more calcium than tofu produced with magnesium chloride, or nigari. The idea of cooking tofu for kids appeals to Krieger because “it tastes like whatever you add to it or sauté it in.” Tofu is a great source of protein, and it’s easy to prepare. Toss some into a stir-fry by itself or with chicken for a tasty meal, or cut your child’s favorite flavored tofu into sticks as an unusual finger food.
Fish Bones Calcium Capacity
Canned salmon softens the bones, making them easy to digest. The bones are what provide the calcium in canned salmon. Pink salmon contains about 180 mg of calcium — about two-thirds of a cup of milk’s 400 mg — with the bones included. The problem is to make salmon bones appealing to a youngster. To begin, break up the salmon and smash the bones into smaller pieces. Then, instead of crab or tuna, use canned salmon in fish cakes in your cuisine.
Calcium Source for Munching and Spreading
According to Krieger, almonds contain a surprisingly substantial amount of calcium; a third of a cup’s worth contains around 110 mg of calcium, raw or roasted. For your children’s sandwiches, Krieger suggests almond butter instead of peanut butter, and adding unsalted or low-salt almonds to trail mix snacks. You may also add almonds to salads, use them in oatmeal for breakfast, or just give your kids a handful.
A sweet potato has 55 mg of calcium in one medium-sized baked sweet potato, whereas a cup cooked has 76 mg. Sweet potatoes are high in other nutrients as well, making it easy to improve the calcium content and entice a kid’s appetite by adding cheese or yogurt. Sweet potatoes baked with low-fat yogurt or grated cheddar and cut into sticks, drizzled with olive oil, and baked in the oven; boil & mash potatoes and toss with butter and cheese; or boil then mash potatoes. (A word of caution about yams: despite their name, they aren’t as rich in calcium as sweet potatoes (19 mg per cup), so if you’re attempting to boost your child’s calcium intake, be sure to offer him or her sweet potatoes rather than yams.)
Beans are a better source of calcium
Boiled small white beans, dry, have about 130 mg of calcium in one cup. Canned white beans contain around 190 mg of calcium per cup. A cup of canned chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, has about 80 milligrams. Mashing or pureeing both varieties of beans into dips and spreads that youngsters will enjoy is a great way to use them up.Try classic lemon-and-garlic-infused hummus with chickpeas (use less garlic for picky children). Alternatively, process white beans with roasted garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper to make a sandwich spread.
Yogurt-Dipped Broccoli Trees
Broccoli has a lot of calcium, but convincing your child to eat 2 1/4 cups of cooked broccoli or five raw stalks in order to obtain the calcium in a cup of milk might be difficult. The calcium in yogurt is comparable to that in milk. Pair blanched or raw broccoli “trees” with a basic dip made from yogurt combined with herbs (chives, cilantro), spices (curry, chili powder), or fruits and vegetables (cucumber, apple) for double the calcium content.
Please, green peas
Green peas are high in calcium (about 45 mg per cup). However, they may help promote bone health in a different manner: Green peas are high in vitamin K, and some research have suggested that vitamin K supplements may improve bone mineral density and strength. Green peas are also high in nutrients, including calcium. They’re a wonderful source of vitamins C and A as well as protein, and like broccoli, they can be combined with dairy products to boost their calcium content. Toss some frozen peas with a light, cheesy white sauce or serve them on the side with pasta.
Calcium-Fortified Cereals are an added bonus
In each 1 1/3 cup serving, some ready-to-eat breakfast cereals are rich in as much as 1,000 mg of calcium. Add a cup of milk and your youngster will get all the calcium he or she requires for the day. Krieger suggests fortifying meals to provide vitamins and minerals to your child’s diet. To boost the calcium content of hot cereals, use cow’s milk or fortified soymilk rather than water to cook them.
Calcium-Fortified Waffles: A Quick and Easy Breakfast
You already consume frozen waffles, and your children enjoy them. However, it’s worth noting that nutrition labels are important. Not all frozen waffles are fortified, but those that include extra calcium can provide around 100 mg of the mineral in each waffle. For more nutrients, Krieger suggests seeking for whole-grain types. To improve the calcium content, try topping your children’s waffles with nonfat or low-fat yogurt combined with a spoonful of jam or sliced fresh fruit.