Your kiddo may be small, but boy are they mighty! They’re on a mission to grow big and strong and with a little help from their trusty pal, calcium, they’ll be well on their way.
You see, as the superhero nutrient for strong bones and teeth, calcium is a must in a toddler’s diet. But that’s no problem, because we’re diving into a world of tasty and nutritious calcium-rich foods your kiddo will love! From classics like milk and cheese, to the more adventurous leafy greens, we’ll explore all the best ways to get calcium into your kids' diets.
A kid’s best friend, dairy milk is an amazing source of calcium. Sitting at about 300mg per cup makes milk a true calcium powerhouse.
But that’s not all. Milk is also high in:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B12
Who would’ve known so much was packed in that sippy cup!
When it comes to choosing the right milk for your kiddo, you should always consult your pediatrician first. But here are a few basics:
- Choose unflavored and unsweetened: you don’t want to add sneaky sugar to their diet.
- Go with whole milk: growing kids need fat for healthy growth and development.
- Avoid raw milk: the pasteurization process reduces the chance of illness; however, parents have different opinions here so consult your child’s doctor.
We’re 2 for 0 with another kid fave – cheese. Cheese averages around 200mg of calcium per ounce depending on type. Most are excellent sources of calcium; however, hard cheeses tend to pack the most. Here are a few calcium-rich cheeses:
But wait, those are just cow cheeses! Sheep cheese is another yummy source of calcium. So if your family hasn’t tried sheep cheese, manchego and pecorino are some kid-friendly options.
Another favorite is yogurt. Not only is it rich in calcium, but yogurt is packed with other vitamins such as:
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D (when fortified, it often is!)
The party doesn’t stop there though, yogurt is also high in protein and probiotics – those healthy organisms that keep your kiddo’s tummies happy and balanced :)
However, keep in mind that yogurt is also loved by every healthy smile’s nemesis: sugar! It often hides in kid’s yogurt and turns a healthy treat into a sugar bomb.
A better option is to buy sugar-free yogurt and sweeten it yourself with fruit, honey, or monk fruit. And for a yummy treat, try Strawberry Yogurt Frozen Bark for a sweet way sneak calcium and probiotics into your kiddo’s diet.
4. Leafy Greens
Spinach and kale don't always get a front seat in your kiddo’s dinner plate, but with some brilliant mom hacks, they’ll reap all the healthy benefits.
These leafy greens are true vitamin powerhouses! They’re packed with calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants and much more.
A Green Monster Smoothie is a tasty way to get kale in your kiddo’s diet. Or, if they won’t touch anything green (hey, we’ve been there…), you can add kale to any smoothie without the green police noticing.
Believe it or not, figs are an excellent calcium-rich treat your kiddo will love! This little fruit packs calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. They’re super easy to snack on (great for busy parents) and can even grow in your backyard.
However, we know figs may be a little too adventurous for picky eaters. So here are some easy ways to get these little guys into your family’s diet:
- Spread fig jam on toast with cream cheese and a drizzle of honey.
- Create a trail mix with dried figs, nuts, pretzels, and other dried fruit.
- Whip up a fig milkshake with pureed figs, milk, and a touch of honey.
- Puree figs and add to any smoothie for a naturally sweet flavor.
Calcium is an important mineral for our kiddo’s growth and development. Through a calcium-rich diet, we can ensure they’re getting all the nutrient goodness to grow big and strong!
And for those extra picky eater days, cover your bases with a kid’s calcium supplement. Renzo’s Vitamins Hercules Calcium combines the power of Calcium, Vitamin D3, and Vitamin K2 in one yummy melty tab – without the sugar and junk.
Try Hercules Calcium today and let’s get growing!