While milk and other dairy products are great sources of many different nutrients, including calcium, some kids either can't or won't eat enough dairy foods to get the calcium they need.
The following list contains some non-dairy food sources of calcium. Before making any significant changes to your child’s diet, be sure to consult with your child's doctor or a dietitian.
- Beans – canned 1/2 cup: 50-70mg
- Eggs, 2: 50mg
- Egg substitute 1/2 cup: 180g
- Hummus 1/2 cup: 60mg
- Salmon, w/ bones – canned 3 oz.: 200mg
- Sardines, w/ bones – canned 4 oz.: 350mg
- Soybeans, green – boiled 1/2 cup: 180 mg
- Soybeans, mature – boiled 1/2 cup: 90 mg
- Soybean nuts, dry roasted 1/2 cup: 230mg
- Tahini (sesame butter) 2 Tbs: 180mg
- Tempeh 1/2 cup: 75mg
- Tofu, firm, w/calcium sulfate 1/2 cup: 260mg
- Pita bread, enriched white 6 1/2 inch: 50mg
- Tortilla, corn 6 inch: 45mg
- Tortilla, flour: 10 inch 90mg
- Orange, medium: 65mg
- Rhubarb – frozen, cooked 1/2 cup: 175mg
- Beans – baked 1/2 cup: 60mg
- Beet greens – cooked 1/2 cup: 80mg
- Bok choy – cooked 1/2 cup: 80mg
- Collard greens – cooked 1/2 cup: 175mg
- Kale – cooked 1/2 cup: 90mg
- Okra – cooked 1/2 cup: 50mg
- Spinach – cooked 1/2 cup: 140mg
- Swiss chard – cooked 1/2 cup: 50mg
- Turnip greens – cooked 1/2 cup: 100mg
- Almonds – dry roasted 22: 80mg
- Molasses – blackstrap 1 Tbs: 170mg
- Sesame seeds – roasted 1 oz.: 280mg
A Few Tips:
For a higher calcium meal, many of these items can be cooked together.
Though many kids will reject things like tofu or spinach if they’re not used to them, low flavour foods like these can be hidden in sauces, smoothies and blended soups.
Offering kids options makes them more likely to eat foods they might otherwise reject. For instance, offer them orka, greens, or both at dinner time; more often or not, they’ll pick both because they feel they have a choice.
Serving your child a varied diet is one of the best ways to make sure they’re consuming enough calcium. Our list about is by no means comprehensive; many foods contain some level of calcium, so just ensuring that your child eats lots of different fruits, veggies, nuts and legumes can go a long way in meeting their calcium needs.