Top tips on how to include calcium foods

Top tips on how to include calcium foods

Some handy hints on how to include calcium in your child's diet if they are allergic to cow's milk.

Use an alternative milk with added calcium

Check the nutrition label to see how much calcium there is in the food or drink.

You will need an alternative milk to cow's milk such as soy. Don't use the following milks if your child is under 2 years of age (unless your dietitian advises you to):

  • almond milk
  • coconut milk
  • oat milk
  • rice milk

Whatever milk alternative you use, make sure it has added calcium. Check the nutrition label and aim for one with at least 120mg calcium per 100mls (100mls is the same as 100g).

Use cereal with added calcium

Choose a cereal that has added calcium, (read the label) and serve this with fruit, soy yoghurt and alternative milk.

Use a dairy free yoghurt fortified with calcium

Nutrition label with calcium highlighted

Not all dairy free yoghurts have calcium. Check the one you use is fortified with calcium. Check the nutrition label and aim for one with at least 120mg calcium per 100mls for the custard and dessert, or at least 50mg calcium per 100mls for yoghurt.

Use milk alternatives in your cooking

You can use a milk alternative to make white sauce, custards, rice pudding or in baking. Using milk alternatives can be especially useful if your child will not drink much alternative milk.  You can mix the white sauce through pasta.

Use almonds for snacks and baking

Use almonds for snacks and baking. You can also use almond meal/flour and soy flour in baking.

Use sesame seeds or poppy seeds

Sprinkle sesame seeds or poppy seeds on cereals. You can use them with breadcrumbs when crumbing or adding a crumb topping. You can also include in them in baking.

Try using tahini

You can include tahini in stir fries, casseroles or in hummus.

Grate some Angel Foods cheddar

You can grate or melt Angel Foods cheddar - it's good on pizza or in a toasted sandwich. You can also use it for making a cheese sauce or put some on crackers for a snack. This cheese does not keep for long in the fridge but it does freeze well.

Give your child extra fruit and vegetables

Include dried figs, or some fresh fruit, eggs, broccoli, kale, silverbeet or spinach and rocket on a regular basis to help increase your child's calcium intake.

The Concise NZ Food Composition Tables, 12th edition, 2016.

The content on this page has been developed and approved by the National Child and Youth Allergy Clinical Network, Paediatric Society New Zealand.

This page last reviewed 17 February 2019.
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