Why is Calcium Important for Your Child? And what are its best sources?

Why is Calcium Important for Your Child? And what are its best sources?

Do you know that Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our body?


And it is important for more than just maintaining strong bones.


While 99% (1) of the Calcium in our body is in our bones and teeth. Rest 1% is used in cell functioning and muscle movement. 


Though along with Calcium-rich foods, your child also needs Vitamin D3 to help absorb the Calcium easily.

 

Importance of Calcium

 

Healthy Bones & Teeth with Calcium

 

1. Bone & Teeth Health: Calcium is an essential mineral for the development, growth and maintenance of bones. Children require Calcium for the development of bones and to continue growing.

A good intake of Calcium during childhood ensures that they develop good bone density, which significantly reduces the risk of any bone-related issues during their adulthood.

Teeth are also made of Calcium. And intake of calcium foods needs to be prioritized when they are losing their birth teeth and growing permanent teeth.

2. Muscle Health: Calcium also helps to regulate muscle contraction. It lays a helping hand to protein in carrying out the work of muscle contraction. And as the body pumps Calcium out of muscles, they relax.

 

Muscle health & Immunity

 

3. Clotting & Immunity: The process of clotting is complex involving numerous steps. Calcium is one of the minerals essential in this process.

In addition, Calcium is also essential for some important enzymes and helps to maintain cholesterol levels. Besides, our body maintains an amount of Calcium in our blood. It is imperative to maintain this level for proper cell functioning. Otherwise, children’s bodies will start extracting the needed Calcium from the bones. 

4. Need of Calcium as per Age: Below is the table stating the required amounts of Calcium needed as per your child’s age and gender.

 

Age

Boy

Girl (2)

1-3 years

700 mg

700 mg

4-8 years

1,000 mg

1,000 mg

9-13 years

1,300 mg

1,300 mg

14-18 years

1,300 mg

1,300 mg


Now that we have developed a broad understanding of why Calcium is important for children. Let’s move on to the next step.

 

Best Sources of Calcium

1. Dairy Products

 

Dairy Products

 

We all know foods like milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich in Calcium. Compared to plants and calcium-fortified foods, Calcium is much easier to absorb from dairy products. 

 

Parmesan cheese of 28 grams contains 242 mg of Calcium (3). While 245 grams of yogurt contains 293 mg of Calcium (4). And around 240ml of cow’s milk contains 306 mg of Calcium (5).

 

 2 - Tofu

 

Tofu

 

It is one of the richest sources of Calcium, especially when it is prepared with calcium sulfate. Although the amount of Calcium varies a little based on the brand and tofu’s firmness. One serving can give you 10% to 40% of the daily value of the required Calcium.

 

3 - Green & Leafy Vegetables

 

Leafy Green Vegetables

 

Some of the leafy green vegetables which are rich in Calcium are Spinach, Green Amaranth, Kale, and Collard Greens. 

 

Although some vegetables have high oxalates, which hinders quick calcium absorption. Still, these vegetables are rich in nutrients and a good source of Calcium too.

 

4 - Seeds

 

Seeds

 

Even though they are very small in size, they are still a powerhouse of nutrients and a great source of Calcium. Chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and poppy seeds are rich in Calcium. 

 

9 grams of poppy seeds contain almost 127 mg of Calcium (6). While a cup of sunflower seeds contains 109 mg of Calcium (7). Although sunflower seeds also have high amounts of salt. Extra salt can deplete calcium levels in the body. That’s why it is advised to opt for unsalted sunflower seeds.


2 tablespoons of chia seeds provide 179 mg of Calcium (8). It also contains boron which helps in metabolizing Calcium to promote healthy bones and muscles. In addition, one tablespoon of sesame seeds contains 88 mg of Calcium (9). Apart from Calcium, it also contains zinc and copper, which are good for bones.

 

5 - Okra/Lady Finger

 

Okra/Lady Finger

 

Per 100g of Okra contains 77 mg of Calcium (10). Along with Calcium, it is also rich in iron, fiber, protein and zinc.

 

You can give your child Okra during lunch or dinner. The chances are your child will like fried Okra more than boiled or roasted ones.

 

6 - Gritzo SuperMilk

 

Gritzo SuperMilk

 

As we discussed above, all dairy products are a good source of Calcium. But for quick absorption of Calcium by our liver, it also needs Vitamin D. 

 

All variants of Gritzo SuperMilk contain 100% RDA D3 + Calcium. The exact values of Calcium differ based on age and gender requirements. Give your child 2 scoops of Gritzo SuperMilk with 200 ml of milk daily to ensure their calcium requirements are met. And their body absorbs the Calcium quickly.

 

Conclusion

 

Calcium is the most essential nutrient required for healthy bones. The best place to start would be to have a balanced and healthy diet for your child. Once you set a base, it will be easier for you to tweak the diet based on your child’s requirements and growth needs.

 

And to make your job even easier, you can use the ‘Chat with us’ option appearing towards the bottom right. Our expert nutritionist will help you choose Personalized Nutrition for your child along with creating a balanced diet.

 

 

References

1. Amount of Calcium in the Body; National Institutes of Health U.S

2. Calcium Requirements as per AgeNational Institutes of Health U.S

3. Calcium is Parmesan Cheese; U.S Department of Agriculture

4. Calcium in Yogurt; U.S Department of Agriculture

5. Calcium in Cow's Milk; U.S Department of Agriculture

6. Calcium in Poppy Seeds; U.S Department of Agriculture

7. Calcium in Sunflower Seeds; U.S Department of Agriculture

8. Calcium in Chia Seeds; U.S Department of Agriculture

9. Calcium in Sesame Seeds; U.S Department of Agriculture

10. Calcium in Okra/Lady Finger; My Food Data


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