Milk is not the only source of calcium. Milk might be one of the best and easily available sources of calcium but it is not the only one. There several food groups and items which are enriched with calcium.
Very few things are as satisfying as seeing your child finish his serving of milk. But not all children drink their milk without throwing tantrums and in case of some who are lactose intolerant, milk is not an option.
There are many sources of calcium which the child can enjoy if he/she is not inclined towards drinking milk.
Other major sources of calcium are Ragi (Finger Millets), Amaranth, Lentils, Soybeans, Beans, Almonds, Dark Leafy Green vegetables, Figs, Nuts, etc.
If your child enjoys eating seafood. Several Fishes are an excellent source of Calcium.
Now don’t be worrisome if your child doesn’t drink that glass of milk. Give them their daily dose of calcium from the sources mentioned herein.
Daily Requirement of Calcium for Infants and Toddlers
|Age||Daily Calcium Requirement (ICMR)|
|0-12 months||500 mg/day|
|1-3 years||600 mg/day|
* These daily intake values are recommended by National Institute of Nutrition (Indian Council of Medical Research)
Comparison chart of several food items enriched with Calcium.
|Nutrient||Food Groups||Foods||Nutrient content for 100 g edible portion|
|Calcium||Cereals and Legumes||Ragi, Bengal gram (whole), Horse gram (whole), Rajmah and Soyabean||200-340 mg|
|Calcium||Green Leafy Vegetables||Amaranth, Cauliflower greens, Curry leaves, knol-khol leaves, Agathi, & Colocasia Leaves||500-800 mg,1130 mg, & 1540 mg|
|Calcium||Nuts and Oil Seeds||Dried Coconut, Almond, Mustard Seeds, and Sunflower seeds, Gingelly Seeds, & Cumin Seeds||130-490 mg, 1450 mg, & 1080 mg|
|Calcium||Milk and Milk Products||Buffalo’s milk, Cow’s Milk, Goat’s Milk, Curds (cow’s), Cheese, Khoa, Skim & Whole Milk Powders||120-210 mg , 790-1370 mg|
|Calcium||Fish||Bacha, Katla, Mrigal, Pran and Rohu||320-650 mg|
* These values are taken from the report published by National Institute of Nutrition (Indian Council of Medical Research)
If the child does not drink milk then the parents tend to give them flavored milk such as butterscotch milk, chocolate milk, etc. Ideally, parents should avoid adding such artificial flavors to milk as they are unnecessarily giving extra sugar to their baby by using such additives. Such extra sugar is harmful for a child’s overall development in the long run.