Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium


In response to Joelle’s question posted to “Yogurt: The Good, The Bad, & The Controversial”, the following information is dedicated to providing some non-dairy sources of calcium.

First of all, the RDA for calcium for children is as follows:

1-3 Years 500 mg/day

4-8 years 800 mg/day

9-18 years 1,300 mg/day

If you would like to cut down on milk and cheese there are a number of alternative sources for calcium such as:

Snack Ideas:

  • Almonds 90 mg for ¼ cup

  • Almond Butter 85 mg for 2 tbsp

  • Figs 90 mg for 4

  • Oranges 55 mg for 1 medium

  • Hummus 60 mg for ½ cup

Vegetables:

  • Broccoli 40 mg for 1 cup

  • Dark Leafy Greens (Kale, Spinach*…) 95 mg for 1 cup for Kale

  • Bok Choy, cooked 330 mg for 1 cup

  • Romaine Lettuce 200 mg per head

* Spinach has oxalic acid which may inhibit calcium assimilation. Consume spinach with foods high in vitamin C to help negate this factor. In any case, spinach should not serve as a main source of calcium on a regular basis.

Beans: (cooked)

  • Garbanzo Beans 80 mg for 1 cup

  • Soybeans 175 mg for 1 cup

  • White Beans 65 mg for ½ cup

  • Navy Beans 60 mg for ½ cup

  • Pinto Beans 40 mg for ½ cup

  • Chick peas 40 mg for ½ cup

Sprouts:

  • Soy 50 mg for 1 cup

  • Mung 35 mg for 1 cup

  • Alfalfa 25 mg for 1 cup

  • Adzuki 130 mg for 1 cup

Other:

  • Tofu, firm 400 mg for 1 cup

  • Chia seeds 177 mg for 2 tbsp

  • Flaxseeds 35 mg for 2 tbsp

  • Sardines 275 mg for 6 sardine

  • Canned Salmon with bones 185 mg for ½ cup

  • Calcium fortified orange juice 500 mg for 1 cup

  • Hearts of Palm 80 mg for 4 pieces

  • Quinoa 30 mg for 1 cup

  • Buckwheat 30 mg for 1 cup

Other Important factors to consider:

  • Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium

  • Carbonated drinks contribute to leaching calcium from your bones so avoid sodas altogether

  • Excessive protein intake inhibits calcium absorption

Since many of these foods are not loved by our children, try juicing them.

Juicing Recipe #1 (340 mg of calcium)

5 figs

1 peach,

2 bananas

1 tablespoon of flax

1 entire head of romaine lettuce

Juicing Recipe #2 (300 mg of calcium)

2 cups of chopped kale

2 oranges

KidNutriyum hope this helps!

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