Why Is Calcium Important For Your Baby?

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Are you worried about your baby’s eating habits? Do you feel that your baby may be falling short on some of her nutritional requirements, like calcium? Do you want to know how calcium is beneficial for your baby’s health and what foods will give your baby a good calcium boost?

If you are interested in knowing any of the above, read on to know why calcium for babies is essential and what different foods you can include in your baby’s diet.

Why Is Calcium Important For Your Baby?

Calcium is very important for your baby [1]. Unlike what most people think, calcium will not just help your baby’s bones. It will help your baby’s muscles and nerves to develop better and stay stronger. Having the adequate amount of calcium will also ensure that your baby’s blood can clot properly and many bone related diseases will be prevented in the future. It is also vital to regulate the functions of your baby’s heart, to help your baby in relaxing and contracting muscles and for various enzyme functions.

[ Read: Healthy Foods For Babies ]

How Much Calcium Does Your Baby Need?

Here is a quick look at how much calcium is needed for your baby as per an age basis: [2]

  • From 0 to 6 months – nothing extra needed in addition to feeding.
  • From 6 months to 12 months – nothing extra needed.
  • From 1 to 3 years old – 700 mg per day.
  • From 4 to 8 years old – 1,000 mg per day.

Can Calcium Deficiency Harm Your Baby?

A deficiency of calcium in your baby’s diet can lead to a condition known as rickets. It is a condition in which your baby’s your baby’s bones become soft and weak. The condition is mostly common in babies between the ages of 6 and 24 months. If your baby gets affected by rickets, it could lead to deformation of bones and also cause the bones to break easily.

[ Read: Benefits Of Lentils For Babies ]

Calcium Rich Foods For Babies?

Here are some rich sources of calcium for babies:

  • Dairy products including yogurt, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, butter and more.
  • Milk is still one of the biggest sources of calcium. If your baby is not fond of milk, try adding fresh fruits or other natural additions to make it taste delicious.
  • If your baby is lactose intolerant, you can still let your baby have soy milk to ensure she gets her calcium needs fulfilled. Check the labels to know which brands will offer best amount of calcium.
  • Cheese can be a great way of adding calcium in your baby’s meals as you can add it in a variety of dishes. Your baby can have cheese as plain cheese slices, as additions to soups, salads, pasta and even baked vegetables.
  • Your baby can get a lot of calcium from yogurt as the calcium from yogurt will be better absorbed by her body. Also, if your baby cannot digest other forms of dairy, she may still be able to digest yogurt better.

[ Read: Yogurt Recipes For Babies ]

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, bok choy, collard greens, kale, broccoli, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, turnip greens and more. Spinach and collard greens contain a higher amount of calcium than other greens. However, your baby’s body might not be able to digest them properly, so speak to your baby’s doctor about it first.
  • Cereals that are fortified with calcium
  • Black eyed peas
  • Tofu that has added calcium in it
  • Juices or soya beverages that have added calcium in them
  • Sardines – you can even give it as a boiled and mashed option on toast!
  • Okra
  • Butternut squash
  • Pinto beans
  • Raisins
  • Amaranth
  • Prunes
  • Chickpeas
  • Parsley

[ Read: Baby’s First Foods ]

Tips To Include More Calcium In Your Baby’s Daily Meals:

Here are a few tips that can help you add more calcium in your baby’s daily meals:

  • Try and include different sources of calcium for baby meals on a daily and regular basis. Your baby’s body will be able to make use of calcium best when it is eaten at different times throughout the day. Try and include some calcium even in snacks for your baby. Instead of including too much calcium in one meal, spread it evenly through the day.
  • Check with your baby’s doctor about how much calcium your baby needs on a daily basis. While you may follow a recommendation chart, your baby may need more or less than the general recommendation.
  • Make sure your baby gets an adequate amount of vitamin D to absorb the calcium well from all sources. You can let your baby soak up some natural vitamin D from the sun. Speak to your baby’s doctor to check if your baby needs any additional supplements.

[ Read: Vitamin D For Babies ]

Quick Recipe Idea To Include More Calcium In Your Baby’s Meals:

Here is a very easy and quick recipe idea that will help you add taste and calcium to your baby’s diet:

Almond Soup:

You Will Need:

  • 20 soaked, drained and de-skinned almonds
  • 4 cups of white stock (you can make it at home by cooking bottle gourd, cabbage, onions and potatoes in a pressure cooker with water. Once cool, blend and sieve and your white stock is ready)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 tbsp. plain flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cream
  • 3/4thcup hot milk
  • 3 to 4 drops of almond essence

How To:

  • Keep about 3 to 4 almonds separately. Take the remaining almonds and blend them in the blender along with some of the white stock.
  • Optional step – Chop up the remaining almonds into thin slivers. Bake them in an oven and ensure they are crisp. Keep them aside.
  • Mix the almond paste and the white stock and keep it aside.
  • In a pan, heat the butter and add the flour. Sauté to make sure the flour does not get stuck to the pan. Add the almond paste and the white stock. Let it all boil. Make sure your keep stirring to avoid any lumps.
  • Add milk, essence and salt. Let it all simmer on low flame for about five minutes.
  • Add the cream and give it all a nice mix. If you are using the option of the baked almond slivers, use them now to garnish the soup.
  • Set aside and let it cool completely before giving it to your baby.

Hope you liked our post on high calcium foods for babies. Calcium is extremely essential in your baby’s overall development. Ensure you add a healthy amount of the same to your baby’s diet. Do let us know in the comments below how you include calcium in your baby’s daily meals.

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