Calcium is an essential nutrient that your children need to build healthy teeth (and bones in general). In the past, milk, cheese, and other dairy products have been a recommended method to get the necessary calcium that a child needs, and those can still all be good options. However, dairy products can also be trying on your child’s digestive system, especially if they have any other accompanying issues that make them more intolerant of lactose.
As such, it’s important to find other ways that they can ALSO get calcium (remember, it doesn’t have to be either/or). Here are some terrific non-dairy ways to get your child to consume more calcium…
When people talk about drinking milk, they are usually referring to dairy milk (the kind that comes from animals). However, there are several types of milk that you can get that are non-dairy, such as almond milk or soy milk, both of which are also a good source of calcium. The issue you’ll find is that these kinds of milk tend to be a little more expensive, and your child may not be receptive to drinking them, especially if they are used to dairy milk.
If you are using non-dairy milk, you can make it an even better source of calcium by using it on fortified cereals. These cereals will specify on the box that they are fortified with additional calcium. These aren’t difficult to find. Raisin Bran, Corn Flakes, and Total are all fortified cereals, for example.
Every parent knows the battle that comes with trying to get your children to eat their green vegetables. The fact that these vegetables are usually loaded with calcium doesn’t make it easier to get your child to eat them, but it does add another reason why you shouldn’t stop trying to get them to.
Fortified Orange Juice
Orange juice is a known source of calcium and can be a good part of a balanced breakfast. However, it is also a major source of sugar. To increase the benefits of orange juice and make all that sugar worth it for your child’s teeth, look for orange juice that is fortified with additional calcium. It should specify this on the label.