How To Get More Calcium in Your Toddler’s Diet

by How To Mommy on 01.31.12

We had another great Toddler Tidbits class with my local Hy-Vee dietitian, Amanda, last week.

This week’s topic was getting more calcium in our toddler’s diet, especially when they can’t {or won’t} drink cow’s milk.

Once we took away the bottle from Little Miss R {nearly two years ago} she’s never really gone back to her love of milk.  I was constantly worried she wasn’t getting the required calcium, so this class was particularly helpful.

Toddlers {ages 1-3} need at least 500 mg of calcium per day.  Food labels will state the daily value for calcium based on the adult requirement of 1000 mg. Therefore, if a label indicates that one serving of a food provides 30% of what an adult needs, you can figure it provides 300 mg. of calcium.

Here are some great foods you can give your child who won’t drink milk:

  • Yogurt (1 cup): 300-400 mg
  • Cheeses (2 oz): 100-200 mg
  • Enriched Tofu (1/2 cup): 200 mg
  • Broccoli (1 cup): 100 mg
  • Almonds (1 ounce): 75 mg

My favorite part of the class was getting to try non-cow’s milk drinks that provide a good amount of calcium.  This way we could see if our toddlers liked them before we bought them.  Here were the results:

Non-Dairy Alternatives Taste Test

Amanda says to make sure these alternatives offer at least 20% of your daily calcium needs (200 mg) per serving.  

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze

Almond Breeze® is an all natural, non-dairy beverage made from real almonds. There are 40 calories per one cup serving and 300 mg of calcium.

Little Miss R – She loved it.  She drank it right up and asked for more.
Baby O – Also enjoyed it.
How To Mommy – It was ok, but the almond flavor was a little stronger than I’d want if I was using in place of baking or actual milk.

Unsweetened Breeze Almond Milk Coconut Milk Blend

Unsweetened Breeze® is a blend of almond milk and coconut milk. There are 45 calories per one cup serving and 450 mg of calcium {50% more than milk}.

Little Miss R – She drank it, but it wasn’t her favorite.
Baby O – Happily gulped it down.
How To Mommy – I’m a fan of coconut and thought this was delicious. Blend it with some ice and you’d think you were drinking a piña colada.

Silk Fruit & Protein Mango Peach

Silk Fruit & Protein Mango Peach is fruit juice plus the nourishing power of Silk protein. It is also offered in Mixed Berry and Strawberry Banana. There are 150 calories per one cup serving and 200 mg of calcium {as well as 5 grams of protein}.

Little Miss R – Obsessed with it. This was her hands-down favorite and will be a great replacement when she asks for juice.
Baby O – Also her favorite. While she drinks milk really well, this will be a nice treat to mix it up.
How To Mommy – I was really leery of this product, but the taste really surprised me. It was really fresh, like you’d imagine peach and mango to be, without any weird taste from the protein. I’m not sure how often I’d drink it because of the calories, but I’ll happily give it to the girls.

Soy Slender Cappucino

Soy Slender Cappucino is a low-carb soymilk that is lactose free and fortified with calcium. This is also available in plain, vanilla and chocolate, but Amanda thought it would be fun for the moms to try in Cappucino. There are 70 calories per one cup serving and 300 mg of calcium {and only 4 grams of carbohydrates}.

How To Mommy – It was ok, but not great. The coffee flavor was a little off and it’s certainly not anything I’d buy for myself.  I don’t think any of the other moms were crazy about it either.

I hope these non-dairy drink reviews help you when you’re trying to find more ways to get calcium into your toddler!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chunky and Monkey MD January 31, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I am a new GFC follower. I found you on a blog hop. I would love for you to stop by my site and follow me back please. Thank you so much!


2 Elizabeth @Our Life January 31, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Thanks for the reviews! I think we will have to try some of these!!


3 How To Mommy January 31, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Let me know what you think!


4 HearMyHands January 31, 2012 at 8:46 PM

I love to read what you post. Congrats – I awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award! Keep up the great writing!


5 Amanda January 31, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Thanks for summarizing the class so well!! I hope others find it just as helpful!


6 How To Mommy January 31, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Thanks for hosting! You’re the best.


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