I have been worried about Bella’s Calcium intake for some time, and Mum brought it up on the phone this morning. She can’t have cow’s milk, and won’t drink Soy milk, rarely eats Soy products (such as soy yogurt and custard). She is incredibly thin, seems to eat well, but has nowhere near the calcium intake of Milo, who eats Cheese and yogurt and drinks soy and cow’s milk like they are going our of style!!
Bella often suffers from achy legs at night. I also suffered from similar leg pains as a growing child, and in fact still do from time. I now interpret these pains as the body stripping the Calcium from my leg bones for other uses… this is most likely Kylie rubbish :)). I thought I’d better do some research to understand how to modify Bella’s diet to get the calcium from the food she eats.
After reviewing the calcium content of various “alternate foods”, I’ve realised that it is near impossible to get Bella to eat enough Calcium rich food to reach the recommended daily intakes:
|0-6 months||210 mg|
|7-12 months||270 mg|
|1-3 years||500 mg|
|4-8 years||800 mg|
|9-18 years||1,300 mg|
|19-50 years||1,000 mg|
|51-70+ years||1,200 mg|
Reference: Havard Uni Health Services
- Babies – 0 to 6 months (breastfed) recommended dietary intake (RDI) 300mg
- Babies – 0 to 6 months (formula-fed) RDI 500mg
- Babies – 7 to 12 months RDI 550mg
- Children – 1 to 3 years RDI 700mg
- Children – 4 to 7 years RDI 800mg
- Children – 8 to 11 years (girls) RDI 900mg, (boys) RDI 800mg
- Children and teenagers – 12 to 15 years (girls) RDI 1000mg, (boys) RDI 1200mg
- Teenagers – 16 to 18 years (girls) RDI 800mg, (boys) RDI 1000mg.
Reference: Victorian Government Better Health website
On to the supplements.
We have tried a number of supplements to date. Bella is very resistant to chewing tablets -and if you’ve ever chewed a calcium tablet you would understand why… its like eating chalk!!!
Then I found a Children’s Chewable Calcium supplement. Horray. Unfortunately, after eating these tablets, Bella was sent home from school very distressed, with severe stomach pains caused by cramps and constipation – which I suspect was caused by the supplements. They contained Calcium-Citrate. I’m not sure if the stomach cramps/constipation was caused by this compound, or the fillers used to make the tablets taste ok. (We had checked there was no diary or other allergens).
Our latest and most successful plan is “Calmax” powder. At $46 for 175g, it ain’t the cheapest, however 1 teaspoon provides 406mg of calcium. We dissolve it in hot water and add it to raspberry cordial. As we don’t normally let the kids drink cordial, Bella thinks its a treat. So far so good…. but she still get cramps from time to time.