Calcium is an essential nutrient that improves body functions. It’s most known for its ability to strengthen teeth and bones, but it also regulates your heart, contracts muscles, and helps with blood clotting. You need to make sure your child is getting plenty of calcium and there are many ways to do this.
Give Them Milk
Milk is one of the most common sources of calcium. Drinking milk will help your child get the calcium they need and it provides them with many other benefits as well. Some milk is fortified with vitamin D which is another essential nutrient. Milk can help your child stay hydrated and it can increase their energy.
There are lots of ways your child can consume milk. Often, children prefer milk in their cereal and this is a great way to give them a daily dose of milk. They can even drink glasses of milk each day. If your child doesn’t prefer milk, you can cook with it, include it in desserts, and more.
Try Lactose-Free Alternatives
Some children are lactose intolerant and cannot have cow's milk. Fortunately, there are options available. Many lactose-free alternative milks are fortified with calcium. You can try almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, rice milk, oat milk, and more.
Each milk has a unique taste and you should give your child the opportunity to try a variety of milks until they find a kind they enjoy. Much like cow’s milk, you can use lactose-free milk alternatives in cereal, cooking, and baking and you can even drink it straight from a glass.
Eat Other Sources
While drinking milk directly is a great option for getting calcium, you can also feed your child plenty of other dairy products made from milk that will provide them with calcium. These include yogurt, cheese, or even butter. Make sure you are choosing healthy options that are low in calories and added sugar. However, there are also options beyond dairy available. Many green vegetables are high in calcium including broccoli and kale. It can also be found in some seafood, certain fruits (like oranges and figs), and many fortified foods.
Calcium is found in many places and you have a lot of options for getting your child the amount they need. Providing your child with a diet full of variety is the best way to get them the nutrients they need. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
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