So this is going to be a super short post on the importance of getting calcium into your children’s diets. This post is meant to emphasis calcium, not necessarily milk.
Dairy rich foods are an integral part of a healthy diet. As a whole, these types of foods off er a lot of nutritional benefits for the body:
– build and repair skin, muscle, and nerve tissue
– build and maintain bone strength
– help maintain a healthy blood pressure
– help fight infection
In order to get these benefits, you should be consuming 3 cups of dairy rich foods on a daily basis. This does not mean you have to drink milk to get your calcium, though. These foods also count as calcium rich foods (the foods below count as 1 cup)
– 1 cup milk or yogurt
– 1 cup calcium-fortified soymilk (make sure it is fortified as regular soymilk contains little calcium and the little calcium it contains is hard to digest)
– 1 1/2 ounces natural or hard cheese
– 2 ounces processed cheese
– 2 cups cottage cheese
However, you should not necessarily be feeding your child all of these foods right away. You need to take into consideration your child’s age:
– through the first year, serve either breast milk or formula. Cow’s milk is hard for infants to digest, and some infants are allergic to it. In fact, I just read a research article this morning that discussed the detrimental effects on infants when given whole cows milk.
– kids 1-2 years old need whole milk for growth and brain development
– kids 2 years and older should get low fat or nonfat milk. It has the same amount of calcium per serving as whole milk.
How much calcium does my child mean?
– kids between the ages of 1 and 3 need 500 mg of calcium each day
– kids between the ages of 4 and 8 need 800 mg of calcium each day
What other foods contain calcium?
– Green vegetables, particularly curly kale, are good sources of calcium, as well as boiled broccoli and watercress. For children who don’t like vegetables, disguise them by sprinkling cheese over the top or mashing them into a potato.
* Be sure to check out the other posts in my healthy eater series. They are posted under the ‘tips for raising healthy kids’ tab.
- milk…scratch that ->; Calcium does a body good (f00dventures.wordpress.com)