Toddlers experience rapid growth and development. Because of this your toddler will need almost three times the amount of calcium that you need as an adult (in relation to their size).
- Healthy bones
- Muscle development
- Strong teeth
- Regulation of nerve and muscle function, including the heartbeat
Your toddler will need around 2-3 servings of calcium-rich foods every day. Calcium-rich foods mostly consist of dairy products, however small amounts of calcium can also be found in nuts, green vegetables and fish. Calcium may also be added to non-dairy milk such as soy, rice and almond.
The main sources of calcium:
- Milk (whole milk/full fat)
- Cheese – mini cheeses are good for little toddler hands
- Green leafy vegetables like broccoli and cabbage
- Sardines and pilchards (fish with bones)
Examples of calcium serving sizes for toddlers (below is one serving)
– Cup of milk (no more than 600 ml a day because toddlers are easily filled by milk, there won’t be enough room for the other key nutrients)
– Small pot of yogurt
– Slice of tofu (20 g)
– Chunk of cheese the size of a matchbox
It is easy to sneak calcium into you toddler’s meals, just get used to grating cheese onto and into everything. Swap water for milk when making pancakes, soup or hot chocolate.