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Parent Information - Why Children Need Calcium

Anne Kolker • MS, Registered Dietitian • May 12, 2012

Calcium is one of the essential minerals.  Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body.  The body gets calcium through foods that have calcium and/or as a dietary supplement. 

Why Kids Need Calcium for Bone Health

The body needs calcium to perform specific functions.  

About 1% of calcium in the body is required to support*:

  • vascular contraction and vasodilation
  • muscle function
  • nerve transmission
  • intracellular signaling
  • hormonal secretion
The other 99% of calcium found in the body is stored in the bones and teeth that provide bone mass and strength.

Low calcium intake during childhood is associated with osteoporosis later in life. Osteoporosis is a disease of low bone mass and can result in broken, also called fractured, bones.  
Read more about osteoporosis.
The key is prevention by getting the required amounts of calcium through foods high in calcium every day.  Children who are rapidly growing especially need this nutrients in order to build strong bones.  In particular, girls need adequate amounts of calcium because later in life, postmenapausal women can begin to lose bone.
We know that bones continue to grow strong until age 30. Thus it is important to ensure adequate calcium intake early on.
The source of calcium comes from the milk group shown on My Plate. 
foods high in calcium come from the milk groupNutrient Tool for Parents








See All Our Nutrition Articles


Written by Anne KolkerWritten on May 12, 2012Last updated on Oct 16, 2013




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