Posted on : 24-05-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Bones, Kids nutrition, Super-healthy...er...stuff
Calcium is essential for young growing bodies and dairy foods (milk, yoghurt and cheese) are the best source of this bone-building nutrient. The NZ Ministry of Health recommends that children under the age of five drink 500ml (about two cups) of milk each day. Make it full-fat milk up until the age of two – they need the extra fat and kilojoules for growth.
If your child isn’t into large glasses of milk, try these calcium-rich food ideas:
- Sprinkle cheese on food
- Turn old bread into Cheese Crispies – slice bread into fingers, thinly spread with Vegemite or Marmite, sprinkle with cheese and bake at 160C for 20 minutes until crisp
- Yoghurt – a handy snack. I buy natural yoghurt and add honey or fruit. Fruit yoghurt often has preservative which I try to steer clear of, especially for little ones. Check the use-by date: the fresher the yoghurt, the more live, healthy bacteria are in it.
- Milk puddings
- Rice pudding – turn left-over cooked rice into pudding by adding milk, a sprinkle of brown sugar and some sliced banana. Or beat an egg with 2 tablespoons of sugar and a cup of milk, pour over 1/2 cup of cooked rice and bake at 160C for 20-30 minutes
- Smoothies and milkshakes
- Milk ice-blocks – beat a little sugar and vanilla essence (or Milo) into milk and freeze in ice cube trays with an ice-block stick in each
- Make porridge with milk instead of water
- Make creamy soups with milk (not cream – it doesn’t have much calcium)
- Mashed potato with plenty of milk
- Broccoli or Cauliflower Cheese – Make a quick cheese sauce with milk, cornflour and grated cheese
- Sardines on grainy toast
- Salmon fried rice – make sure you eat the bones!
- Orange almond cake – oranges and almonds provide calcium but not as much as dairy foods
- Calcium enriched soy drink – I like vanilla flavoured So Good
- Play outside in the sun for a while each day. Sunshine stimulates bone-friendly vitamin D, weight-bearing exercise builds bones – and playing is more fun than house-work! Enjoy these bone-building moments with your children.