Is calcium important for your kids?
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Is calcium important for your kids?

Calcium for Kids

Calcium is a mineral that is found in foods, specifically dairy, and stored in bones and teeth in our body. It is essential for growth and development of children and adolescents.

Why is Calcium matters so much?

Calcium plays an important role in:

Bone formation 
Muscle contraction
Transmitting messages through the nerves 
The release of hormones.

What happens if kids did not get enough calcium?

Our bones can be seen as the “Bank of Calcium”. If calcium is not deposited, it will be withdrawn from the bones to be used in other areas of the body. If this keeps happening, over time bones can become weak and brittle which may lead to osteoporosis.

If blood calcium levels are low (due to poor calcium intake), calcium is taken from the bones to ensure normal cell function.

Younger kids and babies with little calcium and vitamin D intake (which aids in calcium absorption) are at increased risk for rickets (a bone-softening disease that causes severe bowing of the legs, poor growth, muscle pain and weakness)

Symptoms of serious calcium deficiency include: 

Numbness and tingling in the fingers
Abnormal heart rhythms that can lead to death if not corrected.


The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of calcium according to age and gender:

1-3 yr 500 mg/day
4-8 yr 700 mg/day
9-11 yr 1,000 mg/day
12-13 yr 1,300 mg/day
14-18 yr 1,300 mg/day
9-11 yr 1,000 mg/day
12-13 yr 1,300 mg/day
14-18 yr 1,300 mg/day

What is the role of parents?

Parents can do a few things to help ensure that your child grows and develops normally such as:

1) Enough rest
Sleep patterns vary by age and individual child. But most kids need an average of 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night. Sleep gives growing bodies the rest they need to grow well.
Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children,teens and adults.


2) Good nutrition
A balanced diet full of essential vitamins and minerals will help kids reach their full growth potential.


Some foods are very high in calcium. Dairy foods like these are among the best natural sources of calcium:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Hard cheeses, like cheddar

The percentage of fat in milk and other dairy foods doesn't affect their calcium content .

Of course, some kids can't eat dairy. They have to get calcium from other foods, such as:

  • Calcium-set tofu
  • Soybeans
  • Broccoli, collard greens, kale, chard, chinese cabbage, and other leafy greens
  • Almonds and Sesame seeds
  • White beans, Red beans, and Chickpeas
  • Oranges, Figs, and Prunes

3) Regular Exercise
Nowadays obesity is a problem for many kids, parents should make sure that their kids exercise regularly. Any enjoyable activity that help to motivate kids to get moving will promote good health and fitness at the same time help them maintain healthy weight.       


4) Food supplement   

Sometime the amount and absorption rate of calcium content in food does not enough for kids growth and development. So, we need to take additional calcium supplement in order to meet  the RDI .Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for life because calcium enables our blood to clot, our muscles to contract, and our heart to beat. 

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