High Calcium Foods Your Children Need

Find out all you need to know about including calcium in your child’s diet.

WORDS CHRISTEL GERALYN GOMES

 

High Calcium Foods

 

“Foods that are rich sources of calcium include dairy products (such as milk, yoghurt and cheese), dark green leafy vegetables, canned or dried fish with bones or soybean products (tofu or tau kwa or calcium-fortified soymilk),” says Lin. Work on including some or all of these foods into your child’s diet.

 

 

Experts agree that having a variety of different food is important

and that it is best to mix it up when planning meals,

 especially since the way you cook certain foods may

affect calcium absorption, and also because some foods

can affect the body’s ability to absorb calcium.

 

 

“Some foods such as beans contain phytates which may affect the absorption of calcium. Hence soaking and then cooking in fresh water is recommended. Similarly, your body doesn’t absorb calcium well from foods that are high in oxalates (oxalic acid) such as spinach. Other foods with oxalates are rhubarb, beet greens and certain beans. These foods contain other healthy nutrients and can be taken as part of a well-balanced diet,” explains Chia.

 

Calcium Absorption VS Excretion

There are also foods, which may aid calcium absorption and some which may cause calcium excretion. Chia gives us the table:

 

May Aid in Calcium Absorption

May Cause Calcium Excretion

Vitamin D

Found in salmon, dairy products and fortified vitamin D food products

Oxalate

Found in chocolate, spinach

 

Magnesium

Found in dark green leafy vegetables, fish, banana, nuts & seeds

Phytates

Found in beans/legumes, wheat bran

 

Phosphorus

Found in milk, milk products, beans, whole grains

High in salt

Found in processed food, canned food

 

Vitamin K

Found in dark green leafy vegetables, meat, fish, eggs

Caffeine

Found in coffee, tea, soft drinks (sodas)

 

 

 

Calcium Supplements

 

Some parents choose to give their children calcium supplements to ensure that they are getting enough calcium. Our experts recommend instead that your child obtains their daily calcium needs through a healthy, balanced diet.

 

 

If and only if, for some reason, that your child is

unable to meet his calcium needs naturally,

you should consult a doctor or dietician for advice

before giving your child supplements.

 

 

General Bone Health

 

Besides healthy eating, Dr Tan has some final parting words of advice: “As Vitamin D (from being out in the sun) is important for calcium absorption, it’s important for children to have enough of this nutrient too. It can also be found in fortified foods, fish and egg yolk. Children should also get regular exercise which is essential for bone health!”

 

Thanks for sharing!