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Hidden Sources of Calcium

Childhood Nutrition Basics

By

Updated January 26, 2008

Most parents realize that your kids can get a lot of calcium from drinking milk and orange juice or eating cheese and yogurt.

You may not recognize a lot of these other foods that can be 'hidden' sources of calcium though:

Nondairy Foods with Calcium

These nondairy foods can be especially good choices for kids with milk allergies who need calcium:
  • Salmon
  • Tofu
  • Rhubarb
  • Sardines
  • Collard Greens
  • Spinach
  • Turnip Greens
  • Okra
  • White Beans
  • Baked Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Bok Choy
  • Almonds
Keep in mind that most of these nondairy sources of calcium do not have that much calcium per serving, especially as compared to milk or most calcium fortified foods. For example, a cup of broccoli has about 90mg of calcium, while a glass of milk has about 300mg.

Calcium Fortified Foods

In addition to the large number of calcium rich foods that are naturally found, like milk and cheese, there are also a lot of foods that are now fortified with calcium.

Many of these foods can be especially good choices if your kids don't like to drink milk.

  • Calcium fortified orange juice

  • Calcium fortified breakfast cereal, including General Mills Whole Grain Total, Total Raisin Bran, Total Vanilla Yogurt, Total with Strawberries, and Total Honey Clusters, which have 100%DV of calcium per serving!

  • Calcium fortified soy milk

  • SunnyD with Calcium (most SunnyD products don't have calcium, so look for the one that does if your child needs extra calcium in his diet)

  • Instant oatmeal

  • Calcium fortified bread, English muffins, etc.

  • Calcium fortified drink mixes, such as Pediasure or Carnation Instant Breakfast

  • Other calcium fortified breakfast cereals, including General Mills Golden Grahams (350mg), General Mills Basic 4 (196mg), General Mills Cheerios (122mg), General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios (100mg), etc.

  • Minute Maid Boxes, Minute Maid Coolers, and Minute Maid Just 10, which all have 100mg of calcium per serving, which is not as much as calcium fortified orange juice, but is much more than most other non-fortified fruit juices

  • Honey Maid Grahams Honey (150mg)

  • Teddy Grahams Graham Snacks (100mg)

  • Barnum's Animal Crackers (100mg)

  • Hershey's Chocolate Syrup with Calcium (100mg) - allows you to add an additional 100mg of calcium to a glass of milk

  • Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Powder (no sugar added) (100mg) - allows you to add an additional 100mg of calcium to a glass of milk

By learning to read food labels, you may be able to find other hidden sources of calcium too.



References

1USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18. Calcium, Ca (mg) Content of Selected Foods per Common Measure, sorted by nutrient content.


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