Calcium and kids
It’s crucial that children get enough calcium in their early and teenage years because their bones grow so rapidly in length, width and shape in such a short time. Calcium makes up the dense inner part of the bones and a healthy diet at this stage will lay down the basis of strong bones and teeth for their adult life.
Getting enough calcium and exercise during childhood and adolescence is important for strong bones.
Dairy foods are the best single source of calcium in the Australian diet. Dairy products also provide valuable protein and vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) and B12. For children who do not eat dairy products, there are plenty of other foods, such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and fish with small bones (like canned sardines) that can contribute to their calcium intake as well. Other sources include calcium fortified soy products, breakfast cereals and juices.
For children over 2 years, reduced fat dairy foods are recommended, as is for adolescents and adults. Low fat dairy products have similar protein, calcium and vitamin values as full fat equivalents, with only the fat component reduced. Low fat dairy products are not suitable for children under 2 years, because they needs lots of energy for growing.
Read more about kids' nutrition
- The a-z of vitamins and minerals
- Learn about the glycaemic Index
- Healthy food pyramid
- Iron and kids
- Calcium and kids
- Exercise for kids health
- Health and fitness for kids
- Nutrition information panels
- Eating for peak school performance
- Picky eaters
- How much fibre does my child need?
- Why fibre is fabulous
- All about fibre
Ready Set Learn
This article was supplied by the team of Nutritionists at Kellogg's for Kidspot, Australia’s leading education resource for parents.