Calcium is one of the essential minerals that the body needs for proper growth. The absence of calcium in the kids and teens can not only cause them pain but also lead them to grow inappropriately, in which they might have the body parts in unusual size and shape.
The prime time to build strong bones is when the kids are at an early age and teenage phase. The strength of the bone will be the base for the stronger bones and painless body in later life. The adequate amount of calcium and other minerals will also guard them against Osteoporosis and fractures during sports. Moreover, for young kids, enough amount of Calcium and Vitamin D is essential to keep ‘Crickets’ away. Otherwise, if they suffer through rickets, they may get prone to bow legs, weak muscles, and stunted growth.
What are the sources of Calcium?
Having known about the essential requirements of Calcium, one needs to be known to the sources of Calcium. Calcium is found in various food items, dairy products like milk, yogurt, and hard cheeses being the biggest source amongst them. Note that the fat content in milk does not make much difference in its calcium amount. Now, not all the kids are okay with the intake of dairy products. Hence they will have to try other options to meet the calcium requirements of the body. Those options include-
- Broccoli, collard greens, Chinese cabbage, leafy greens, etc
- Almonds and sesame seeds
- Oranges and Prunes
Besides these natural carriers of Calcium, companies today are adding Calcium to the bread, cereal, juice, and other foods that the kids consume with ease and interest.
How much Calcium do they need for the proper growth
The requirement of Calcium varies according to the age of the person. Undoubtedly, a growing child will require more support to support the growth of his bones and muscles than the others. The amount of Calcium is measured in milligrams(mg). Also, the best thing will be to cover the requirement through the food only. If one fails to do so, there are supplements available for the same.
Have a look at the requirement of the Calcium at two different stages-
Babies– The prime source of Calcium for a baby is breast milk. If the baby is younger than six months, they will need at least 200 mg of Calcium per day. Whereas, the age group of 6-11 months requires 260 mg of Calcium per day.
Kids and teens– Now, kids need the maximum amount of Calcium as they are growing and involve themselves in many physical activities. The calcium requirement is as follows-
- Kids in 1-3 year age group- 700 mg of Calcium to be given in 2-3 servings.
- Kids in 4-8 year age group- 1,000 mg to be given in 2-3 servings.
- Kids as well as teens in the 9-18 year age group- 1,300 mg of Calcium to be given in 4 servings.
Thus, Calcium needs to be given to the child in an adequate amount to ensure the proper growth of the bones and muscles. Use the above information to utilize the sources mentioned and have knowledge of the right amount.