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Calcium in child development

By :Eden Ben 0 comments
Calcium in child development

Why is calcium important to children?

With each passing day, our children grow up and undergo wonderful changes. One of our main goals as parents is to make sure the child develops and grows physically and mentally. An essential means of this is a healthy, balanced diet that includes, among other things, enough calcium: we must get them to eat properly and get used to consuming foods containing vitamins and minerals that are essential for their development. Why is calcium so important to children? What happens if the child does not need enough dairy products? And how can you equip your child with calcium-rich foods for school or preschool?


Childhood: An exceptional window of opportunity for bone mass accumulation

Calcium is one of the major minerals in the human body and is considered one of the most important in the process of growth and development of the child. Calcium is one of the major building materials for skeletal and bone building. Calcium also has an important role to play in the development of teeth, muscle contraction, nervous system function, and the regulation and release of hormones. In recent years there has been an increase in awareness of the issue of nutrition and its effects on the overall health. The subject is also very relevant for children - who are naturally in the process of physical development.

Our children triple their weight already in their first year of life. In the years to come, the child again grows and naturally gains weight. Muscles and bones of the child are growing - and we gain fertile ground for the importance of calcium as the body's building material. It is important to know that the bone building process is associated with a balanced diet and regular sports activities. Assume that this period represents a window of opportunity for bone mass accumulation and ensure that your children consume enough calcium to reach maximum bone density.


What might happen if your child is in calcium deficiency?

The childhood period is characterized by rapid growth and development of the skeleton (leading to the growth process), low levels of calcium may be reflected in its abnormal development (the same goes for the teeth). Calcium deficiency can also cause neurological problems and damage to the immune system. Of the childhood problems associated with calcium absorption, the most common is the soft tissue disease, which is manifested by very soft bones and an abnormal skeletal anatomical structure. However, there are also medicines that reduce calcium absorption such as anti-epilepsy drugs.

In a state of insufficient calcium intake, the body will break down calcium from the bones in order to maintain its normal blood and muscle levels. We sometimes tend to think that insufficient calcium will lead to osteoporosis and that it is irrelevant at an early age, but it should be internalized that we now hear more and more cases of osteoporosis even before menopause. It is important to understand that a child who does not consume enough calcium will increase the risk of osteoporosis, but at the same time will also slow down his or her physical growth - which may also affect his / her self-image and confidence.



The potential for calcium intake in children is particularly high thanks to milk products

The causes of lifestyle-related calcium deficiency are many and varied: low-calcium diet, drinking carbonated beverages as a substitute for dairy products, smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages in adolescence, and more. Dairy products are considered a rich and good source of calcium and protein - which is an essential component of building body tissues and their big bonus is that, overall, kids love them. Examples of dairy products are yellow cheese, which is considered a product with a good amount of calcium and in one slice you can supply a good portion of the recommended calcium for your child. Yogurts such as probiotic yogurt or bio yogurt also contain a high amount of calcium and high-quality nutritional protein.


How can a milk-sensitive kid, cow's milk or lactose consume enough calcium?

A child who is sensitive to milk or lactose (sugar found in milk), can consume calcium from the plant: okra, broccoli, chives, parsley and more. Soybeans and whole sesame teas are also considered calcium-rich foods (whole-sesame teas contain up to seven times more calcium than regular teas): four tablespoons of tahini can provide your child with an adequate amount of calcium. Although it is high in fat, do not fear it, as the amount of saturated fat in it is low relative to the amount of unsaturated fat (considered essential for the human body).

There are also children who are sensitive to cow's milk, which is an immune response caused by one or more of the cow's proteins. Signs of this allergy can be manifested in the digestive system (diarrhea, constipation and vomiting), the respiratory system (difficulty breathing) and the skin (rash). These children are advised to avoid dairy products completely, including goat's milk and sheep's milk. In the three cases mentioned here, it is recommended to add calcium-enriched foods to your child's diet or to take a calcium supplement.


How much calcium should a child consume a day?

The recommends amount of daily calcium intake is adjusted for the child's age and increases as the years go by. The following table lists the recommended amounts of calcium according to age:




Calcium mg per day

Up to six months


Six months to a year


1-3 year


4-8 year


9-18 year



Building strong bones during childhood and adolescence reduces the chance of escaping calcium at older ages.


How can you equip your child with daily calcium?

Calcium-rich nutrition begins with buying the product: You may want to look at the nutritional marking of the product and test how many mg of calcium there is in one dose (and not just 100 grams) - so you can plan your child's calcium intake according to your child's daily calcium intake. From early morning, where you prepare them for going to kindergarten or school, this is your opportunity to prepare a recommended and high calcium daily diet.

Recommended foods for school

For example, you can make a full spelled bread sandwich or rye bread and combine it with yellow cheese, lettuce and other vegetables such as cabbage, cucumber, tomato, basil and spinach. Yellow cheese is especially recommended because it is high in protein and low in lactose. You can also combine steamed broccoli in the sandwich, which is a great alternative for kids who like dairy products: One cup of steamed broccoli contains about 45 mg of calcium.

In terms of spreads, you can combine in the various sandwiches from whole sesame tahini, make your child homemade hummus or basil-based pesto. If the child wants sweets, pamper it with almond, silane, hazelnut and honey or walnuts and dates. If you want to pamper it even further and supplement your recommended daily calcium intake, you can make it a juicy fruit smoothie, crush it and put it in just a little before serving and drinking a little of the amorphous calcium - it will be almost imperceptible, but definitely noticeable in its physical development.



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