Is your Kid getting enough Calcium?

Daily intake of calcium is necessary for kids to have strong bones. As kids grow, calcium helps in the growth and strengthening of the bones. However, kids are not getting their recommended intake of calcium every day. Caffeinated drinks, sodas have replaced the daily milk intake. Parents can make sure their kids get enough calcium by including calcium-rich foods in their diet.

How much calcium is recommended?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following amount of calcium:

  • 1-3 years old, 500 mg of calcium per day (2 servings of milk)
  • 4-8 years old, 800 mg of calcium per day (3 servings of milk)
  • 9-18 years old, 1300 mg of calcium per day (4 servings of milk)

Good sources of calcium:

Parents can include calcium-rich foods in their kids’ diet. The following are some of the good sources of calcium:

  • Milk
  • Low fat Yogurt
  • Calcium fortified soy milk or rice milk
  • American cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Calcium fortified orange juice
  • Broccoli, cooked
  • Fish-sardines and salmon
  • Leafy vegetables

Why calcium is important?

Daily calcium intake is important because of the following reasons:

  • It Strengthens the bones and teeth
  • It Prevents osteoporosis (a bone disease where the density of bone is reduced)
  • It helps in regulating muscle function such as relaxation and contraction
  • It regulates the functioning of the heart
  • Plays a role in transmission of messages through the nervous system

Vitamin-D is essential for the absorption of calcium. Vitamin-D is made when our body is exposed to sun and is also found in foods such as eggs, fish etc. Regular exercise also enables your kids to have healthy bones. Hence adequate calcium intake, sunshine and regular exercise would keep your kids healthy and strong.

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