Calcium in a child’s diet- its role, sources and recipes
Fitterfly - Team Nutrition
- Posted On September 01, 2018
Most of the parents worrying factor is whether my child is getting all the nutrients. One of the prime concerns is for Calcium in the food. Calcium is one of the most vital elements required for normal growth and development of children. Calcium is most abundant mineral in the body. It constitutes around 40% of the total body mineral content. Majority is situated in the bones and teeth.
Calcium deficiency can lead to multiple issues. Fitterfly data of nutrition assessments shows that almost 60% children have less than recommended intake of calcium in their day to day diet. This needs to be urgently improved by creating awareness amongst parents.
Why calcium is important in every child’s diet?
- Calcium helps in making our bones and teeth stronger
- Ensures proper growth and development
- It is essential during childhood and adolescence as it helps in bone mass development which helps in lifelong skeletal structure and health.
- Calcium is important for muscle activity as well as for heart function
Calcium Rich foods:
- Milk and milk products like curd, buttermilk, paneer, cheese, khoa, whole milk powder
- Calcium rich cereals like Ragi millet (Nachni) and Amaranth seeds (Rajgeera)
- Seafoods like Bombay duck (bombil)-fresh or dry form, crab and dry shrimps
- Leafy vegetables like amaranth, drumstick leaves, fenugreek (but green leafy vegetables are rich in oxalates also, which hinders the calcium absorption)
- Nuts and oil seeds like sesame seeds (til)
Quick tips to maximizing the child’s calcium intake:
- Use milk instead of water while preparing soups, gravies or while kneading chapatti dough
- Curd can be added to fruit salads or smoothies
- Soya flour, til, Rajgeera flour to chapatti doug
- Add whole or skimmed milk powder to chapatti, parathas, theplas or curries
- Use Rajgeera, amaranth, quinoa to make upma, chilla, pulao etc
- Good hydration levels and digestive health with low pH levels enhances calcium absorption
Daily calcium requirements for children:
|Age group||Calcium requirement (mg/day)|
|10-17 years (Boys)||800|
|10-17 years (Girls)||800|
To check your child’s calcium intake as per the requirement, download the Fitterfly app to do your nutrition assessment or consult a Fitterfly Pediatric Nutritionist
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