Calcium is closely related to bone health. Over 99 per cent of our body’s calcium is found in bones. Together with other minerals, it contributes to bone strength. The calcium found in blood and cells is critical for certain functions – helping our nerves transmit messages, muscle contraction and blood clotting.
We must get adequate calcium from our diet to keep ourselves fit. Children grow extraordinarily fast which necessitates balanced nutrition, especially adequate calcium rich foods for babies to support their bone growth. Toddlers age between one and three years need 500-600 mg of calcium every day. Children aged between four and six require 800 mg of calcium daily. In this article, we aim to provide a list of calcium rich food for babies and toddlers so as to benefit parents everywhere.
Is your baby not having a sufficient amount of milk? Did you ever notice his/her limbs jerking or twitching? This might be an indication that he is suffering from a calcium deficiency. This is quite common in children – both babies and toddlers. This can easily be treated with a change in their diet and food intake and is no cause for panic. Not yet anyway.
There aren’t a wide variety of options in baby food. It is extremely crucial that you constantly check what is going inside that baby’s belly. Does he consume a sufficient level of nutrients? Under the umbrella of nutrients, is the baby getting enough calcium? What is a calcium deficiency and how is it to be identified? What are some foods rich in calcium for toddlers? Read on to know the answers to these questions and more.
How to identify calcium deficiency?
The general symptoms of calcium deficiency in babies or toddlers include being highly irritable, frequent twitching in muscles, reduced appetite, occasional tremors, inactivity and also seizures or convulsions in extreme cases.
Some important tips
Other than diet, several other lifestyle changes could be adopted into your baby’s or kid’s lives that would prove to be extremely helpful. One of the easiest ways to induce a high rate of calcium absorption is by increasing the amount of time he/she is in the sun. A boost of Vitamin D does wonders to the levels of calcium in the body.
Breast milk is the richest source of calcium that you could give to your toddler. It is one of the most highly recommended foods rich in calcium for toddlers. This also goes to say that any other source of milk will not match up to the benefits of breast milk.
However, if the calcium deficiency is extremely serious, it is always better to take him/her to the doctor who would most likely suggest a special milk formula that is perfectly catered to the needs of your child.
Calcium rich foods for babies and toddlers
Foods rich in calcium for toddlers and babies is a widely discussed topic amongst all parents. Here we’re providing a definitive list of calcium rich food for babies and toddlers that will always help to increase the calcium levels in their tiny little bodies.
The most obvious and widely known out of the lot is milk. It is a great source of calcium for children. An intake of 360 to 480 ml coupled with a balanced diet provides sufficient calcium that they need every day. In order to prevent children from drinking too much milk and losing their appetite for other meals, parents can give children small quantities throughout the day.
2. Yogurt or Cheese
A slice of cheese or half a tub of yoghurt contains about 150 mg of calcium which is comparable to one glass of milk. Dairy products are the best foods rich in calcium for babies. One cheese slice per day can add up to a lot in terms of calcium intake. As for yoghurt, pick low-sugar ones. Plain yoghurt is undeniably the best.
There are so many babies and children that are averse to the smell of cow’s milk. For them, there are plenty of non-dairy options especially soy milk. There also is cheese and yogurt that is soy instead of dairy. However, by itself soy products do not contain all that much calcium. But once you fortify it with calcium, you are good to go.
To get the best of the calcium content in tofu, it is recommended to fry it as you would any meat and serve it hot. This is especially one of the tastiest calcium rich food for toddlers who start teething as it is easy to swallow and yummy.
5. Mashed Bones
Salmon is known to be rich in calcium – but the lesser-known fact is that the power lies in the bones. So how do you get your child to eat the bones? Generally, experts recommend mashing the fish up so the bones completely soften as serve it as a filling in any sandwich or a similar dish.
Dried Fruits especially almonds and almond butter are high on the list of foods rich in calcium for babies and toddlers. These can be used as a garnish in salads, can be used to spread on bread or eaten as is. Almonds in dried fruit mixes can also be a fun way to increase the calcium level in your child’s body.
Dark green leafy vegetables can never be forgotten if calcium rich food for babies is being listed. It is always a smart move to introduce broccoli, peas, spinach into your kid’s diet in the early stages itself. These are loaded with calcium that can easily be absorbed by the body. As an added benefit, it also expands their palate.
We have elucidated the importance of calcium and the grave repercussions if there is a deficiency of the same, especially in a baby or a toddler. We hope this served as an opportunity for all parents to learn about the vitality of a calcium rich diet and calcium rich food for babies. So, go ahead and ensure the little one gets as much calcium as possible so he/she can grow up to be the healthiest. We hope this serves as an opportunity for all parents to learn about the vitality of a calcium rich diet.