Any dietary source of calcium will count toward the child’s daily intake, but low-fat milk is clearly the most efficient and readily available. Lactose-free milk, soy and rice drinks have recently become more easily obtainable and less expensive.
In addition to milk, there are a variety of foods that contain calcium and can help children get sufficient levels of calcium in their daily diet. Some examples include:
|Dairy foods||Milk, yogurt, cheese|
|Leafy green vegetables||Broccoli, kale, spinach|
|Beans and peas||Tofu, peanuts, peas, black beans, baked beans|
|Miscellaneous||Sesame seeds, blackstrap molasses, corn tortillas, almonds, brown sugar|
Vitamin D is also necessary to allow the body to absorb the calcium. In the US, milk is fortified with Vitamin D, and a few other foods are sometimes also vitamin D-fortified (such as some types of cereal and bread). This vitamin occurs naturally in only a few foods, such as fatty fish (salmon, sardines) and egg yolks. In addition to dietary sources, sunlight can provide the body with Vitamin D as it is synthesized through the skin.