Calcium-rich foods for babies to make your little one stronger
Calcium is the building block of your child’s healthy bone growth. Here are some of the best foods that are rich in calcium to help your child grow stronger!
The food your baby eats during the formative years will also decide how well protected they will be as adults when they have to cope with loss in bone density. The initial years of your child’s life see changes almost every day with your baby growing bigger at a very fast pace. Initially, the calcium in breastmilk is more than sufficient to provide your child with nutrients. But as you start to wean them, their nutritional requirements will grow. Calcium-rich foods for babies are a critical consideration for every parent. Bones and teeth, after all, take up 99% of all the calcium that gets into your little one’s body.
Here is a list of kid-friendly calcium-rich foods that are medically proven to build strong bones in your little ones.
1. Milk, curd and cheese top the list
Milk is the richest natural source of calcium and is the only calcium-rich food babies below the age of 7 months need. The daily calcium intake varies for different ages. The normal calcium levels in infants up to 6 months is about 200 mg daily, this goes up to 700 mg for children between 1 to 3 years. 1000 mg is what kids 3-8 years should be getting daily and 1300 mg for older children. One cup of milk packs in 300mg of calcium goodness and so does 1 cup of curd or 50gms of cheese. While there is a lot of flavoured milk on grocery shelves, it is recommended to go with only plain milk to avoid added sugar and preservatives.
Use our Free Child Growth Calculator to check if your child’s height is normal for their age.
2. Baby calcium supplement
As your child grows, they might no longer need baby calcium supplements unless they are fussy eaters. Older children need to have at least 2-3 servings of calcium-rich foods to get their daily recommended dose. If they are not getting this, then a calcium supplement fortified with vitamin D works very well. It is not advised to take too high a dose though and it is always good to go with the amount prescribed by your child’s paediatrician.
Also read our blog on Are Probiotics Safe for Babies? What to Know Before Feeding Them to Your Child.
Finding calcium-rich foods for babies with milk allergy can seem challenging for parents. But contrary to popular belief, several vegetables are just as rich in calcium as dairy is. Sweet potatoes are rich in calcium, beta carotene and dietary fibres. So along with strong bones, your child will gain weight in a healthy way. The best part is that you don’t even need to add salt or sugar to it to make it tasty. Spinach is another star among calcium-rich foods for babies and children. Broccoli and green peas too pack a lot of punch when it comes to calcium. Green peas are especially beneficial because they are also rich in Vitamin K and loaded with other nutrients as well. Vitamin K helps in the absorption of calcium by the bones which why is why peas have an advantage in the vegetable world. You can use our complete baby food chart for babies in India to find the best recipes to make for your child!
Use our Free Child BMI Calculator to check if your child’s weight is healthy for their age.
4. Pulses and lentils
Pulses are a must when your baby moves to solid foods. They have a good amount of calcium which helps bone development and is also rich in proteins which is a must for new tissue growth. One of the best ways to serve dal to your child is in the form of a delicious dal khichdi. This humble dish is one of the easiest calcium-rich recipes for infants and adults as well. They are also one of the best calcium-rich foods for babies with milk allergy.
Apart from pulses, beans like chickpeas and rajma have a high calcium and protein count. For babies, you can mash it in a food processor.
5. Healthy nuts
Almonds are terrific sources of calcium-rich foods for babies one year and older. Little kids can have almonds safely when crushed before eating or added to their milk. Children older than 2 years can even enjoy it as a sweet treat, in the form of a badaam laddoo as well. The possibilities are endless with this versatile nut. The only time you need to be careful before giving it to your toddler is if there is a history of allergy to nuts in your family.
Also read our blog on Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth: How and When to Get Started.
Oranges top the list of fruits rich in calcium and also vitamin C. So not only does an orange help in your child’s bone development but it also builds immunity against colds. These are delicious for children of all ages and can be eaten directly or as freshly made juice. If your child suffers from mouth ulcers or acidity, however, avoid oranges and other citrus fruits as it can make their condition worse.
Eggs are an integral part of any list of calcium-rich foods for babies because they contain calcium, folate (iron), zinc and phosphate. You can serve it boiled and mashed for your infant. For older children, there are any number of variants to make it truly tasty. Some babies are allergic to the egg whites so introduce it carefully, though the egg yolk is quite safe to have. Apart from being a great source of calcium, eggs are also one of the best high-calorie foods for weight gain in babies.
Fish is an excellent source of lean protein for your child It is also an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids and several minerals. For babies, you can steam, deboned and puree the fish to make it easier for them to digest.
Including these calcium-rich foods in your child’s menu can help them grow stronger. Clearly, Even if your baby has lactose intolerance, you can still provide them with the essential nutrients they need as there are several calcium-rich foods for babies with milk allergy. By providing your child with these nutritional building blocks early on in their life, you can ensure they develop into a healthier adult. With the mfine app, you can consult with the city’s top paediatricians to ensure that your child is getting the right nutrition.