10 Best Calcium Rich Foods For Kids

Children grow fast, and their diet plays a crucial role in providing them with all essential nutrients. Calcium is one such nutrient that helps maintain bone and tooth health. If you are not sure about the sources of this mineral, we have prepared a list of calcium-rich foods for kids to help you identify them. Apart from its main function, calcium participates in several bodily functions such as blood clotting, muscle contraction, maintaining normal heart and nerve functions, and immunomodulation. The deficiency of this mineral can affect the function of almost all organs and may cause disorders such as rickets in children (1). Read on to know which food you must include to enrich your child’s diet with calcium.

In This Article

How Much Calcium Do Children Need?

The National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, recommends that children aged one to three years should consume foods containing 700mg of calcium daily. This value increases to 1000mg for children aged four to eight years and 1300mg for nine to 18 years (1).

10 Best Calcium Rich Foods For Kids

1. Dairy Products

It is believed that the best natural source of calcium is dairy products which include yogurt, cheese and milk. While your kid may become fussy about milk as they grow older, they will definitely love cheese, so make sure you add it to your kid’s foods often (2).

protip_icon Quick fact
Hard cheeses like cheddar contain about 320mg of calcium in 40g (12).

2. Soy

Soy milk and soybeans are yet another calcium-rich food for kids that you must make sure your kid has in their diet. You can add more soybeans to their foods for a nice and healthy twist. Soy milk is a good option to be given to your child if your child is lactose intolerant. Thanks to recent advancements, you may also find soy yogurt, cheese, and tofu made with calcium salts for extra variety (1).

3. Oranges

Give your kid a glass of freshly prepared orange juice for breakfast.

Image: Shutterstock

Here’s another reason to give your kid a glass of freshly prepared orange juice for breakfast. Each orange contains around 50 mg of calcium. You could also choose to get fortified orange juice, but it has additives and flavoring agents (3).

4. Almonds

Apart from boosting memory and brain power, almonds are also rich in calcium- around 110 mg of calcium in just 1/3 rd cup of almonds. Using almond butter as an alternative to peanut butter is a great idea (5).

5. Beans

From chickpeas to canned white beans, there are many options when it comes to calcium-rich foods and they work great for kids. Blend some beans in a food processor and whip up some quick hummus and dips- your kid will love it (1). Raw mung beans are also a great source of calcium and 100g of them provide about 132mg calcium (5). They may be soaked, boiled and added to curries and soups.

protip_icon Point to consider
Figs, apricots, soybeans, chickpeas, sesame seeds, nuts, and nut butter are some low-calcium but tasty foods that could contribute to your child’s calcium requirements (12).

6. Broccoli

Delicious way of adding broccoli in your kid's diet

Image: Shutterstock

Most kids tend to hate this little veggie, but it is actually one of the best foods for your kid. Broccoli is literally packed with calcium and many other important nutrients – try and sneak them into momos, pastas and pizza sauces, and your kid won’t know the difference (6).

7. Green Peas

Versatile and fresh, every 100 grams of green peas contains about 25 mg of calcium (7). Adding them to your kid’s foods can ensure proper bone growth and development. What’s more, it is also thought that the vitamin K content of green peas may help preserve bone mineral density.

8. Fish

Most canned fish like salmon, sardines and tuna are good calcium sources for kids, so don’t hesitate before getting your kid a serving of any of these. Top them with some cheese and watch your kid lick his plate clean (8).

9. Meat

Cook the meat well to rule out the risk of salmonella infections

Image: Shutterstock

Beef is yet another good source of calcium; however, you may need to seek advice from your medical practitioner before introducing it to your kid. Make sure you cook the meat well to rule out the risk of salmonella infections.

10. Green Veggies

Apart from broccoli, other green veggies, particularly watercress, is a great source of calcium (1). Additionally, including spinach, bok choy, and mushrooms in your vegetable dishes can be beneficial (9). Yes, most children do not like the idea of green leaves as a food, but who says you can’t add them to the green dips and pesto sauces or disguise them within a potato filling for a burger?

protip_icon Quick fact
Ensure your child gets enough vitamin D from the sun, fortified foods, or supplements to optimize calcium absorption in the body (12).

Calcium-rich foods for kids play a key role in bone and teeth development. Dairy products, soy, oranges, beans, fish, green vegetables, and meat are rich sources of calcium that children can consume in their daily diet. You may also include calcium-fortified cereals and flours in your child’s diet to raise their calcium intake. Children with calcium deficiency may require supplementations due to various conditions, such as milk allergies. However, seek your pediatrician’s suggestions before giving any calcium supplements to your child.

Infographic: Top Calcium-Rich Foods For Children

Calcium is crucial for a child’s growth and overall health. When your child receives adequate calcium from food, it gets deposited into the bones, making them grow stronger. Scroll through this infographic to find the top food sources of calcium for your child.

healthy sources of calcium for children (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are eggs high in calcium?

Yes. Eggs are a rich source of essential nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium (9).

2. Is banana rich in calcium?

Although not a rich source of calcium, bananas have a significant role in maintaining bone and muscle health.

3. Is carrot high in calcium?

Carrots are not the best source of calcium for children. But they are a rich source of beta-carotene, essential for vision development and proper functioning of the heart and lungs.

4. Are apples rich in calcium?

Yes. Apples can also be considered a good source of calcium for children.

5. What are the signs of calcium deficiency in babies?

The primary signs of calcium deficiency include short stature, brittle nails, dry skin, and weak tooth enamel (11).

Key Takeaways

  • Calcium is crucial for children to maintain healthy bones and teeth.
  • It also aids in blood clotting, immunomodulation, muscle contraction, and proper functioning of the heart and nerves.
  • Dairy products, meat, and fish are excellent sources of calcium for children.
  • Some fruits and vegetables like oranges, broccoli, and beans contain significant amounts of calcium.
  • Legumes and nuts such as green peas, soy, and almonds can also help fulfill the body’s calcium requirements.
calcium food for kids_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

Learn about the best calcium-rich foods for children! Discover which foods are packed with calcium and how to make them fun and tasty for your little ones to eat.

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.