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The benefits of calcium for children’s growth and development

Family Education Sophia Rodriguez 118 views 0 comments

Calcium is a crucial mineral that is essential to the growth and development of children. It is necessary for healthy bones, teeth, and muscle function. However, there is often confusion and uncertainty among parents about whether their children require calcium supplements or not. In this article, we will explore the benefits of calcium for children, the types of calcium supplements that are suitable for children, and how to incorporate calcium-rich foods into their diets.

Why is Calcium Important for Children?

Calcium is a vital mineral for children’s growth and development because it plays a significant role in the formation of strong bones and teeth. During childhood and adolescence, bones grow and develop rapidly, and calcium is necessary to support this growth. Additionally, calcium helps to maintain healthy muscle function, nerve function, and blood clotting.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children between the ages of 1 and 3 require 700mg of calcium per day, while children between the ages of 4 and 8 require 1,000mg of calcium per day. Children over the age of 9 require 1,300mg of calcium per day. It is essential to ensure that children receive adequate amounts of calcium to promote healthy growth and development.

What Types of Calcium Supplements are Suitable for Children?

While calcium can be obtained from a variety of dietary sources, some children may require calcium supplements to ensure they are meeting their daily calcium requirements. However, not all calcium supplements are created equal, and it is crucial to choose a supplement that is suitable for children.

Calcium Carbonate: Calcium carbonate is the most commonly used calcium supplement for children. It is inexpensive and readily available, and it contains the highest amount of elemental calcium per tablet. It is best taken with food to aid in absorption.

Calcium Citrate: Calcium citrate is another type of calcium supplement that is suitable for children. It is more easily absorbed than calcium carbonate, making it an excellent choice for children who have digestive issues or who take medications that affect calcium absorption.

Calcium Phosphate: Calcium phosphate is a less commonly used calcium supplement that is suitable for children who cannot tolerate calcium carbonate or calcium citrate. It is often used in combination with vitamin D to aid in absorption.

When choosing a calcium supplement for your child, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for their age and needs.

How to Incorporate Calcium-Rich Foods into Your Child’s Diet?

In addition to calcium supplements, calcium can also be obtained from a variety of dietary sources. Some examples of calcium-rich foods include:

  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale
  • Fortified foods such as orange juice and breakfast cereals
  • Nuts and seeds such as almonds and sesame seeds

Incorporating these foods into your child’s diet can help to ensure they are receiving adequate amounts of calcium. For example, serving milk or yogurt with meals, adding leafy greens to smoothies or omelets, or offering fortified cereals as a breakfast option are all great ways to increase your child’s calcium intake.

Calcium is an essential mineral for children’s growth and development. While most children can obtain adequate amounts of calcium from their diets, some may require calcium supplements to ensure they are meeting their daily requirements. When choosing a calcium supplement, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your child’s age and needs. Additionally, incorporating calcium-rich foods into your child’s diet is an excellent way to promote healthy growth and development.

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