It is important to maintain good nutrition for adequate growth and development according to Dr Peter Rhodes, Nutritionalist.To achieve this the child’s intake needs to be high in calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals he said.
Calcium in particular has been shown to be important in the development of strong bones and teeth. We all know that I guess. But low levels of calcium during the younger half of life, and continued through adolescence may contribute to the development of osteoporosis in later years ( significant for females). Calcium is also important for other bodily functions according to http://www.fatfreekitchen.com/nutrition/calcium.html
- for strong bones and teeth
- minimise bone loss
- prevent osteoporosis
- for muscles
- for nerves
- blood clots
- manage weight
- manage high blood pressure
- colon cancer
- kidney stones
- cardiovascular disease
Vitamin D helps to absorb and properly consume calcium.
How much Calcium do children need?
Calcium Consumption recommendations for Australian children:
1- 7 years and boys 8 – 11 years at 800 mg per day
Boys 12-15 years – 1200 mg
16 – 18 years – 1000 mg
Girls 8 – 11 years – 900 mg
12- 15 years – 1000mg
16 -18 years – 800 mg
Adult women 700 – 1200 mg
Adult men 300- 500 mg
Previous Australian surveys have insisted that the average children’s intake is much lower than this. Many years ago children were given free milk to drink at morning tea. Whilst this was good for most, it made others more sensitive to this, feel quite sick..
We can not store calcium in later life, we have to continually replenish it. The best time for calcium intake is youth…..
Sources of Calcium
The most common source of Calcium comes from dairy foods, particularly milk cheese and yoghurt.
Milk and yoghurt contain significant levels of lactose which tends to enhance calcium absorption. Most cheese also supply significant calcium although they do lack lactose.
the fat content of milk does not affect the level of Calcium.
See Calcium rich foods below:
Does Soy milk a substitute as a calcium source?
It is also worth remembering that not all soy milk contains calcium. Always check the label for added calcium. Calcium in soy milk is added inorganic calcium. Generally it will have poorer absorption qualities. This is not to scare consumers away from these products, but make them aware that the Calcium is not the same as that found in cows milk.
How can I determine how much calcium a child is getting?
Construct a food diary for a week containing all the foods consumed and present this to your local dietician who will be able to do a complete analysis of the child’s diet.
Calcium is a mineral that can be easily neglected…. Toddlers generally should consume about 3 serves of dairy foods per day to reach the daily recommendations for calcium consumption.
1 serve = 200 ml milk or 1 cup yoghurt or 35 g cheese
During periods of growth the demand for calcium is greater than usual, although some calcium is incorporated into bone at certain other stages of life. Thus, children, adolescents and pregnant and lactating women need additional calcium. Adults continually need to replace calcium that is lost from the body in urine and faeces and to a lesser extent in sweat.
CALCIUM RICH FOODS
Dairy foods are very high in calcium, see the values given in the following table.
|Calcium in Dairy Products|
|Skim Milk 1 cup||301|
|Whole Milk 1 cup||290|
|Plain Low fat Yogurt 1 cup||415|
|Cow Milk Cottage Cheese (Paneer) 1 cup||208|
|Baffalo Milk Cottage Cheese (Paneer) 1 cup||480|
|Feta cheese 40 g||144|
|Whipped Cream, 15 g||13|
|Calcium in Beans & Grains|
|White beans 3/4 cup||120|
|Navy beans 3/4 cup||94|
|Black Turtle beans 3/4 cup||75|
|Chickpeas (Chhole) 3/4 cup||58|
|Soy bean curd slab 150g||310|
|Cooked Soy bean 1 cup||130|
|Instant oats, 1 pkt||165|
|Calcium in Nuts|
|Almonds roasted 1/4 cup||93|
|Brazil Nuts 20 g||34|
|Hazlenuts 20 g||28|
|Walnuts 20 g||19|
|Almonds butter 2 Tbsp||88|
|Sesame seeds 12 g||80|
|Rice, plain, boiled 180 g||32|
|Calcium in Vegetables & Fruits|
|Cabbage/bok choy 1/2 cup||190|
|Turnip greens 1/2 cup||104|
|Broccoli 1/2 cup||33|
|Okra 1/2 cup||65|
|Orange 1/2 cup||52|
|Orange juice fortified with calcium 1/2 cup||165|
|Calcium in Fish|
|Sardines in oil, tinned, 100 g||500|
|Salmon, tinned, 100 g||91|
|Fish paste, 35 g||98|
|Calcium in Breads, Pizza|
|White bread, 1 slice 30 g||53|
|Wholemeal bread, 1 slice 30 g||32|
|Muesli, Swiss style, 50 g||55|
|Lasagne, 400 g||400|
|Pizza, cheese & tomato, 410 g||873|
|Pasta, plain, cooked, 230 g||85|
From the above list you can chose foods high in Calcium.
Following is a list of foods that give you more than 300 mg of calcium per 100 gm of that food.
- Milk and milk products
- Cereals and Grains
- Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of calcium. Beetroot greens, Drumstick leaves, Fenugreek leaves, Turnip greens, Lotus stems, Curry leaves
- Spices:Cumin, Coriander, Cloves, Asafoetida (Hing), Oregano (Ajwain), Mustard seeds
Well I think I will go and have a drink of milk… skim milk of course, in up my daily intake. As someone who has always had a protein intolerance to dairy products, I am at risk for developing the aforementioned diseases, particularly osteoporosis… so I continue weight-bearing exercise as an adjunct to calcium supplements.
The daily requirements are something for me to ponder about, particularly at mealtimes….