Dairy products are a well-known source of calcium, and they’re very child-friendly, too. If dairy is not a good option for your child, though, there are lots of other great sources of calcium out there that are non-dairy.
There are many reasons that dairy might not be the right choice for your child.
Some kids, for instance, have a lactose intolerance, and become sick if they eat dairy products.
Many families choose a vegetarian or vegan diets for religious, cultural, or ethical reasons, and therefore reduce or even completely eliminate dairy consumption in their households. And then there are those kids who don’t like the taste of milk, cheese, or other dairy products.
Be sure to discuss any new dietary limitations or restrictions with your family doctor or your child’s pediatrician before enacting them, so that you can be certain that your child is getting all the nutrients he or she needs from other sources.
It can also help to consult with a qualified, registered dietitian on the subject.
But if you're just interested in finding some new, interesting and varied sources of calcium for you and your family, the following foods and drinks are rich in calcium, and are also convenient and palatable to children in most cases.
Kid-Friendly Calcium Sources
- Black-eyed Peas 185 mg in ½ cup canned
- White Beans - 191 mg per 1 cup, canned
- Firm Tofu - 861 mg in ½ cup
- Canned Fish - 232 mg in ½ a can of salmon with bones (just be careful to pick them out first!), or 321 mg in 7 sardine fillets
- Almonds - 72 mg in ¼ cup dry-roasted
- Oranges - 65 mg in 1 medium-sized fruit
- Orange Juice - 500 mg in 1 cup (but serve in moderation, as it’s high in sugar!)
- Soymilk - 300 mg in 1 cup
Kale -188 mg in 2 cups raw
- Cheerios - 114 mg in 1 cup; serve with soy or almond milk