Dairy products are probably the most commonly known source of calcium, and they’re very kid-friendly, too. But if dairy isn’t an option for your child, there are many good non-dairy sources of calcium out there.
There are many reasons that dairy may not be the right choice for your child. Some children have a lactose intolerance, which makes them sick if they eat dairy products.
Another consideration is that many families choose a vegetarian or vegan diet for cultural, religious, or ethical reasons, and wish to reduce or even completely remove dairy from their diets. And of course, some children simply don’t like milk, cheese, or other dairy products.
We always recommend discussing any dietary choices and limitations with your child’s pediatrician or your family doctor, so that you can be sure that your child is getting sufficient nutrients from other sources.
Consulting with a qualified, registered dietitian on the subject can also be very helpful and informative.
But if you’re simply looking for more interesting and varied sources of calcium for you and your family, here’s a list of foods and drinks that are rich in calcium, that are convenient, and that children love to eat!
Kid-Friendly Calcium Sources
- White Beans - 191 mg per 1 cup, canned
- Black-eyed Peas 185 mg in ½ cup canned
- Canned Fish - 232 mg in ½ a can of salmon with bones (just be careful to pick them out first!), or 321 mg in 7 sardine fillets
- Kale -188 mg in 2 cups raw
- Almonds - 72 mg in ¼ cup dry-roasted
- Firm Tofu - 861 mg in ½ cup
- Oranges - 65 mg in 1 medium-sized fruit
- Orange Juice - 500 mg in 1 cup (but serve in moderation, as it’s high in sugar!)
- Soymilk - 300 mg in 1 cup
- Cheerios - 114 mg in 1 cup; serve with soy or almond milk