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Foods High In Calcium For The Vegetarian or Vegan Child

Maryam Malekian • MS, Registered Dietitian • Sep 27, 2012

Calcium is an important mineral in human body which is needed for strong bones and teeth, as well as healthy muscles and nerves. Studies show when children get adequate calcium and physical activity during childhood, they can begin their adulthood with healthier and stronger bones.

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), both males and females over 9 years of age should get 1,300 mg of daily calcium. Between the ages of 4 and 8, the daily requirement is 1000 mg.

Toddlers between 1 and 3 years old should get 700 mg daily. Infants between the ages of 7 months and 1 year require 270 mg every day and babies under 6 months old need 210 mg.

Foods high in calcium for the lacto-vegetarian child

The best sources of calcium for lacto-vegetarians are dairy products like:  

  • low-fat milk
  • cheese
  • low-fat yogurt

Other calcium containing options include green leafy vegetables:            source of calcium foods for vegetarian vegan children

  • collard greens
  • kale
  • mustard greens
  • Chinese cabbage
  • broccoli
  • fortified orange juice 
  • fortified cereals
  • fortified breads
  • fortified soy milk
  • fortified rice beverages
  • fortified tofu


Foods high in calcium for the vegan child

If your family is vegan, the best sources of calcium* are:

  • soy
  • tofu
  • beans
  • almonds
  • tahini
  • fortified cereals
  • fortified juices
  • green leafy vegetables

It is important to know that vitamin D is required for better absorption of calcium. For this reason, some soy products and rice-milk substitutes are fortified with vitamin D. 

Read good food sources of iron for the vegetarian-vegan child

The chart below indicates daily intake of calcium*:

Age Calcium per day
0-6 months 200 mg
7-12 months 260 mg
1-3 years old 700 mg
4-8 years old 1000 mg
9-18 years old* 1300 mg
19-50 years old* 1000 mg
50+ 1200 mg
* pregnant teens should check with their doctor








See All Our Nutrition Articles


Written by Maryam MalekianWritten on Sep 27, 2012Last updated on Apr 03, 2016




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