Nutritional facts: Calcium

What does it do?

Calcium has a number of important functions

  • Makes sure blood clots normally
  • Helps build strong bones & teeth
  • Regulates muscle contraction, including the heartbeat

How much does a child need?

0-12 months      525mg/day
1-3 years             350mg/day
4-6 years            450mg/day
7-10 years           550mg/day

Foods containing calcium

Dairy (an easy source of readily absorbed calcium)

  • Milk – fresh, tinned and powdered
  • Cheese – Particularly hard types
  • Yoghurts & fromage frais
  • Cream & creme fraiche

Non-dairy food

  • Dark green leafy vegetables eg broccoli, spinach, kale, spring greens
  • Nuts – particularly almonds, brazils and hazelnuts (CAUTION: do not give whole nuts to young children and always check for allergy first – nut butters are good)
  • Red kidney beans and chick peas
  • Soya beans and bean curd (Tofu)
  • Dried fruit eg apricots, dates, figs and raisins
  • Seeds eg sesame and sunflower
  • Bread (whole wheat best)
  • Fortified cereals eg All Bran, Ready Brek, Special K, Bran Flakes
  • Beans eg baked, haricot and broad
  • Oranges or fresh natural juice
Typical calcium content in common foods

Milk                    200ml         240mg

Cheddar             30g              215mg

Edam                  30g              230mg

Yoghurt              1 pot            190mg

Baked Beans     1 sml tin     107mg

Broccoli             90g               40mg

Spinach             90g              145mg

Green beans     90g             50mg

Bread (white)   1 slice         40 mg

Dried apricots  45g             35mg

Orange               1 med         75mg

Dried figs          3                 140mg

Sardines           100g           460mg

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