Why Kids Need Calcium and Vitamin D

Kim Conte

calcium and vitamin d for kidsCalcium and Vitamin D are essential nutrients for the development of strong bones in children. But are your kids getting enough? Here are some menu ideas for incorporating calcium and Vitamin D into your family's daily diet:

Calcium not only builds strong bones and teeth; it also helps the blood to clot; aids the heart in functioning properly; lowers our risk of cancer; transmits nerve messages; and even helps some people lose weight. The recommended daily amounts of calcium (in milligrams) are as follows:

  • 1 to 3 years old: 500 mg/day (or about 1 servings of food high in calcium)
  • 4 to 8 years old: 800 mg/day (about 1.5 servings)
  • 9 to 18 years: 1,300 mg/day (about 4 servings)
  • 19 to 50 years: 1,000 to 1200 mg/day (about 3-4 servings)
  • 51 and over: 1,200 to 1500 mg/day (about 4 servings)

Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium. The recommended daily dose of Vitamin D is 1,000IUs.

Here's how to incorporate foods that are rich in calcium and Vitamin D into your kids' diet throughout the day:


  • Low-fat milk/soy milk
  • Fortified cereal or cereal bars
  • Egg yolks
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice


  • Tofu
  • Tuna fish packed in oil


  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Low-fat cheese


  • Leafy greens (broccoli, spinach, kale, collards
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp

Do your kids get enough calcium and Vitamin D?

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