Calcium is one of those nutrients we all know is important for strong bones and teeth. It’s especially important for growing children, who need over 1,000 mg per day once they hit age 4. But when your child’s a picky eater, it can be hard to ensure he or she gets enough calcium-rich foods every day. Luckily, there are some healthy foods even the pickiest eaters will love, allowing them to avoid a calcium deficiency during childhood. Here are some ideas of where to start when you want to get your kids to eat more calcium-rich foods.
You can buy squeezable pouches of yogurt at the store in practically every flavor these days. So whether your picky eaters enjoy everything strawberry-flavored or prefer to try out the more daring flavor combinations—like strawberry banana—they’ll likely love these calcium-rich foods. Of course, the ever-popular yogurt tubes work just as well. Either way, your kids can look forward to some great flavors—all the while getting a delicious serving of calcium.
Pretty much every kid likes smoothies, likely because they’re so versatile. Depending on the fruits and type of milk you use, the flavor and texture of today’s smoothie can completely differ from yesterday’s smoothie. And though smoothies naturally have at least one serving of calcium in them due to the fruit and milk, you can add even more by mixing a packet of FitFormula into it! Here’s just one great-tasting, calcium-rich smoothie recipe for your picky eaters to try.
Not all kid-friendly calcium-rich foods fall into the dairy category. In fact, there are many fruits and vegetables that offer plenty of calcium, with oranges being among the best options. A single orange has about 50 mg of calcium, so offer this as a snack, or at least add some orange zest to the lunches and dinners you prepare. If your picky eaters love orange juice, this is another good choice since it has about 500 mg of calcium per glass. Just don’t let them overdo it on the orange juice due to its high sugar content.
Almonds are another dairy-free, calcium-rich food for picky eaters. These have about 110 mg of calcium in 1/3 cup. If your kid isn’t exactly the type to eat a handful of almonds for a snack, consider substituting almond butter for peanut butter. You can spread it on toast, banana and apple slices, or simply sandwich bread for a calcium-rich snack or meal.
Let’s face it. Even the pickiest eaters tend to enjoy cereal, probably because there’s so much variety involving this breakfast food. Don’t be too quick to tell your kids they can’t have another bowl of cereal today, because most cereals are fortified with calcium. Some have as much as 1,000 mg per serving. Of course, some cereals have much more than others, so take a look at how much calcium each cereal has. Note that instant oatmeal is also usually fortified with calcium, giving your picky eaters another calcium-rich breakfast option.
Keep in mind that you can add FitFormula to nearly any food because the powder is flavorless. So if your picky eaters won’t eat any of these calcium-rich foods very often, you can still sneak calcium into their system. You can also add powdered calcium supplements to any of these nutrient-dense recipes your kids will love! Feel free to report back on how it goes, and let us know if you find any other great calcium-rich foods your kids enjoy.