Alternate sources of calcium

Colleen - posted on 03/06/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )




Looking for ideas for other sources of calcium. My 21month old picky eater will not drink milk, does not like cheese and will only eat yogurt maybe once a month.


[deleted account]

Hmmm, no milk, cheese or yogurt?

Usually kids like that better than broccoli and other dark green veggies that are high in calcium.

The thing to remember with kids is that their tastes change over time...

Getting kids to eat what is good for them is a challenge!

The key is to not give in to his demands.

There is an old chinese proverb that says "Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables."

Now is a best time to create positive food habits, because bad habits are really hard to break (like cables) the older we get.

I teach nutrition education and the topic of how to get picky eaters to eat comes up a lot. One of the ideas I teach moms, and I also introduce to children is what I call "Broccoli Buds"

Let me explain. As adults we know that our tastes change over time. You may not know, though, that humans have to taste a food eleven times to really be able to decide if they like it or not. So we have to keep tasting foods.

To put this into language your kids can understand...

Just as your child didn't get a full set of teeth in all at once, our taste buds 'come in' at different times too. (You can point out that the taste buds are those bumpy things on your tongue!)

Unlike teeth, you can't see when they come in. So if you don't like broccoli (or MILK, CHEESE OR YOGURT) NOW, you still need to taste it because that is the only way to tell if your milk buds are in yet. You gotta keep tasting! One of these days, you'll taste milk and be like "WOW! That's GOOD!" And then you'll know your milk buds came in!

This concept is easier to teach if your child knows other kids who have lost teeth or seen new teeth grow in. But kids definitely 'get it'

But it's not a parent's job to 'force' kids to taste.

The good news is that it’s not all on YOUR shoulders, Mom.

As moms we try so hard to do everything ‘just right’ so that our kids will be healthy and happy, and that can be a lot of pressure.

When it comes to feeding our kids, as parents we have certain responsibilities:

1. A parent is responsible for deciding and enforcing WHERE a child eats.

2. A parent is responsible for deciding and carrying out a schedule of meal times and snack times for WHEN a child eats.

3. A parent is responsible for deciding and following through on WHAT a child eats.

That’s it for Moms & Dads regarding feeding, but kids have responsibilities too:

1. A child is responsible for deciding HOW MUCH to eat.

2. A child is responsible for deciding IF they are going to eat, or if they are NOT going to eat.

Some of the problems with kids & eating involve trust or a lack of trust.

When you child was a newborn, you trusted that he ate when he was hungry and stopped when he was full. We usually lose that trust some time when our kids have passed the food introduction phase and are learning about the ‘other’ foods their parents eat, like cheetos and cake, etc.

If we as parents are providing a variety of healthy foods, and little or no access to junk foods, then we can trust that they will eat what they need when they are hungry and stop when they are full.

It is not really common, but it does happen that for a while a toddler will stop drinking milk for a while. It's normal to be concerned :) But the more you try to force it the more likely he is to refuse it. You can always contact your local health dept. and ask to speak to the WIC nutritionist who more than likely has dealt with this before and has concrete ideas and advice to give.


You can download this FREE children’s book (Tummy Talks) to read with your child and help them better understand the ideas of Hunger and being Full:

I’m also including a link to a really great site, with all kinds of wonderful info and help, including kid friendly healthy recipes. There are downloads in pdf format that you can view or print out, and the information is geared to be encouraging and uplifting. And on almost every message is a story from a real-life mom who faces the same challenges as you do, sharing what she did in her situation.

You can find a lot of helpful info at this site:


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Orangegloves - posted on 03/10/2009




Foods containing the same amount of calcium as 300ml (10 fl oz) milk

Fromage Frais - 175g approx 3 small pots

Yoghurt - 80g approx one pot

Vanilla Ice Cream - 130g approx 2 scoops

Cheddar or Edam - 20g

Cottage Cheese - 200g

Cream Cheese - 175g

White Bread - 3 Large Slices

Dried Apricots - 200g

Dried Figs - 73g


View replies by

Suzanne - posted on 06/03/2009




Rice milk and soy milk are fortified with just as much calcium as is found in cow's milk. Kids tend to like the vanilla and chocolate versions. Also, you can use whatever kind of milk you choose and mix it with frozen fruit and a little frozen yogurt in the blender. If made with strawberries it tastes like a strawberry milkshake.

Stephanie - posted on 05/13/2009




there are so many things out there now a days that are fortified with calcium. juices, cereals, breads, pastas. I think if he eats these, hell be fine. You can try adding greens to pasta sauce, those have a lot of calcium.

Heather - posted on 05/08/2009




I give my daughter Vanilla flavored soy milk, cause she has a dairy allergy. My doctor also says Green Leafy Vegetables are a good source of Calcium.

Leslie - posted on 04/17/2009




Jello, I have a friend who gave all her kids jello water becasue they could not drink any kind of formula or milk. Jello is a great way to make sure they are getting their calcium, its good for their tummies and most kids like they taste.

Bridget - posted on 03/19/2009




Another good form of calcium are almonds. I used to finely crush them up in the wizz and sprinkle on my daughter's cereal or whatever she does eat! :-)

Tanna - posted on 03/15/2009




My daughter (now 3) was excatly the same way.  One thing she did like was bread. I love to bake so every time I made cookies or breads I added powdered milk, which doesn't really affect the quaility or taste of the item. (about 2-3 tablespoons powdered milk per cup of flour used). I also used calcium fortified juices, fruit smoothies made with yogurt or milk, or chocolate milk and she seemed to like those even though she didn't like milk. Almost any recipe that calls for water you can substitue milk--like hot cereals, gravys, soups, etc. Also beans are a great source of calcium, which I had never considered before my daughter. I am not a huge fan of them but she loves them--plain! I just put them on the side of her plate, warmed from the can. She may be a little odd that way though. But you could try to add them into your own recipes. :)

[deleted account]

If he's picky this might not work but I made my pasta loving daughter, noodles with canned salmon but I mixed up the salmon into a creamy cheesy sauce so it disguised the taste and canned slamon is a good source of calcium. It works well for veggies too just blend in with tomato sauce.

There is also nothing wrong with using chocolate milk, it has the same amount of sugar as juice and since it is only 1% the sugars balance out.

 if all else fails ask your doctor about supplements, you want them to get as much calcium as possible, healthy teeth and bones etc.

hope I helped!


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