Meeting calcium needs for children

Meeting calcium needs for children


Children grow extraordinarily fast They need a balanced nutrition especially adequate calcium to support their bone growth Toddlers aged one to three need 500 to 600 mg of calcium every day Children aged four to six require 800 mg of calcium daily Milk is a good source of calcium for children An intake of 360 to 480 ml of milk coupled with a balanced diet provides sufficient calcium they need every day In order to prevent children from drinking too much milk and losing their appetite for meals parents can offer their children about 120 ml of milk three or four times a day Children can have yoghurt or cheese instead of milk A slice of cheese or a half a tub of yoghurt contains about 150 mg of calcium which is comparable to 120 ml of milk Besides dairy products children can have calcium-fortified soy milk firm tofu and dark green vegetables as additional
calcium rich food sources Very often, toddlers tend to drink less milk when they first switch to drinking from
a cup after the age of one We can give them cheese and yoghurt as supplementary sources of calcium Toddlers being breastfed need to take cheese yoghurt and cow’s milk to get adequate calcium too. When choosing milk or dairy products for children we have some tips for parents If your child has meat, fish and
vegetables in his diet regularly you can offer him cow’s milk in place of formula milk Full-fat cow’s milk is a better choice for one-year-olds For children aged two or above low-fat dairy products or calcium-fortified
soy milk is preferred As for yoghurt pick low-sugar ones Plain yoghurt is the best Apart from diet children need physical activities and sufficient vitamin D for their bones to grow healthily Parents should take their children to play outdoors such as running, hopping, playing with balls and get more exposure to sunlight Parents, let’s make physical activity a habit for ourselves and our children To learn more the Family Health Service, Department of Health www.fhs.gov.hk

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