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.
The best sources of calcium for lacto-vegetarians are dairy products like:
Other calcium containing options include green leafy vegetables:
If your family is vegan, the best sources of calcium* are:
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