After years of being a voracious milk drinker, my oldest daughter has taken to sipping mostly water. On the surface, this may seem nothing to worry about since water is essential for proper body functions, especially during the summertime. My cause for concern was more about her calcium intake, and the August issue of Parents’ magazine shed some light on my worries.
As the article highlights, almost 15 percent of college-age women have the beginning signs of osteoporosis. Since Isabella is only 8 years old, I figure we’re not too late to get her back on track. At her age, the recommended daily amount of calcium is 800 mg for kids 4 to 8 years old (after that, you should boost their daily intake to 1,300 mg). Sounds easy enough if she drinks 2 cups of milk and eats 1 string cheese a day as suggested in the article, but what happens when your kids lose their taste for milk? What about kids who are allergic to dairy, as is the case with one of Isabella’s friends? If you’re in the same boat, relax knowing you can still make sure your kids are getting all the calcium they need.
While we’re big advocates of getting nutrients naturally, if you think your child is having trouble meeting their daily calcium needs, talk to your pediatrician for advice on supplements and other healthy eating strategies.