Food & Recipes

Non-Dairy Bone Builders

by Daryn Eller

Non-Dairy Bone Builders

Calcium plays a crucial role in building strong bones and teeth, but nearly half of children ages 3 to 5 don’t get enough each day. If your child doesn’t like the taste of milk, try chocolate- and strawberry-flavored varieties, yogurt (it has more of the mineral than milk), cheese, pudding, and fruit smoothies or shakes made with milk or yogurt.

High-calcium veggies like broccoli, kale, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and acorn squash aren’t the most kid-friendly sources, but you can add a cheese sauce to make them more appealing (and increase their calcium content). Other options: Offer calcium-fortified drinks like soy milk, apple juice, and orange juice; make mashed potatoes and cream soups with milk; and add dry milk to other food and beverages.

To tally the calcium in packaged foods, find the daily value on the label (which is based on a 1,000 mg requirement) and add a zero: A serving of yogurt with a daily value of 40 percent, for instance, contains 400 mg.