All your bones need to be strong is calcium rich diet and healthy lifestyle habits. Same goes for your child. Healthy nutritional diet and lifestyle habits from early childhood can save your children from developing osteoporosis and bone fractures later in the life.
Importance of Calcium in Childhood
It is important to understand that bone is a living tissue that undergoes a bone formation and renewal process. This means that bone constantly goes through the process of old cells being removed and new being formed. The amount of bone mass in the bones increases till late twenties in most of the people. This is the time when your bones have the maximum chance of gaining maximum strength and density.
During childhood and adolescence, bone formation is more than bone resorption as skeleton increases in both size and density. Therefore, this is the right time to ensure that your child builds strong bones.
Other Roles of Calcium
Not just strong bones, calcium is also required for proper functioning of nervous system. Lack of calcium in our body leads to cardiovascular diseases. It also helps in maintaining strong and healthy teeth. Calcium also contributes to the metabolism process by aiding digestion. Read more on role of calcium in our body.
Daily Requirements of Calcium
Having known the importance of calcium for your child, next step is to be equipped with the information of amount of calcium required by the body on daily basis. As both deficiency and excess of calcium has adverse effects on the body, knowledge of the right amount becomes critical:
|Age||Amount of Calcium (mg)|
|Birth to 6 months||200|
|6 months to 1 year||260|
|Children/ Young Adults|
|1 to 3 years||700|
|4 to 8 years||1,000|
|9 to 18 years||1,300|
Healthy Sources of Calcium
Having milk every day is the best bet for your kids to ensure that they get adequate calcium. However, milk has to be supplemented with other sources of calcium over the day as 100 gm of milk gives only 125 mg of calcium. You can enrich your child’s diet with calcium through cheese, yogurt, spinach, okra, broccoli, almonds, canned fish etc. Here is your quick list of calcium content of above sources:
|Food Source||Calcium in mg / 100 gm|
Know more about calcium content of popular Indian dishes.
If your child is lactose intolerant, you will have to rely on the non-dairy sources of calcium to ensure bone-strength. We know that, it is another struggle to make sure your kid eats the healthy food. But don’t worry! You can try quick recipes to make healthy food interesting for your child.
If these don’t help, you may have to consider calcium supplements for your kids. Their taste preferences should not come in the way of their development and growth. Calcium supplements ensure that your children get their daily dose of calcium ensuring proper development of bones. Calcium supplement, Tuskca, are available in tasty flavors such as Orange and Pineapple which will suit your child’s taste buds.