Tweens & Teens need calcium now more than ever!
June 27, 2011
It takes calcium to build strong bones. So calcium is especially important during the tween and teen years, when bones are growing their fastest. Ages 11 to15 are a time when fast-growing bones need calcium. Unfortunately, most boys and girls are not getting the calcium they need.
Boys and girls in these age groups have calcium needs that they can’t make up for later in life. In fact, by the time teens finish their growth spurts around age 17, ninety percent of their adult bone mass is established.
Unfortunately, fewer than one in ten girls and only one in four boys ages 9 to 13 are at or above their adequate intake of calcium. This lack of calcium has a big impact on bones and teeth.
How much calcium do kids need?
Tweens and teens can get most of their daily calcium from:
- three cups of low-fat or fat-free milk (900 mg of calcium), AND
- additional servings of calcium-rich foods to get the 1,300 mg of calcium necessary to build strong bones for life.
Starting around age nine, young people need almost twice as much calcium as younger kids.
What are good sources of calcium?
Milk isn't the only way for tweens and teens to get the calcium they need every day. Lots of calcium-rich foods are available to help them get the 1,300 mg of calcium they need every day.
Sources of Calcium
Yogurt, plain, low fat, 8 ounces
Sardines, canned in oil, with bones, 3 ounces
Cheddar cheese, 1.5 ounces
Milk, nonfat, 8 ounces
Milk, reduced-fat (2% milk fat), 8 ounces
Milk, lactose-reduced, 8 ounces**
Milk, whole (3.25% milk fat), 8 ounces
Milk, buttermilk, 8 ounces
Mozzarella, part skim, 1.5 ounces
Yogurt, fruit, low fat, 8 ounces
Orange juice, calcium-fortified, 6 ounces
Tofu, firm, made with calcium sulfate, ½ cup***
Salmon, pink, canned, solids with bone, 3 ounces
Pudding, chocolate, instant, made with 2% milk, ½ cup
Cottage cheese, 1% milk fat, 1 cup unpacked
Tofu, soft, made with calcium sulfate, ½ cup***
Spinach, cooked, ½ cup
Ready-to-eat cereal, calcium-fortified, 1 cup
Instant breakfast drink, various flavors and brands, powder prepared with water, 8 ounces
Frozen yogurt, vanilla, soft serve, ½ cup
Turnip greens, boiled, ½ cup
Kale, cooked, 1 cup
Kale, raw, 1 cup
Ice cream, vanilla, ½ cup
Soy beverage, calcium-fortified, 8 ounces
Chinese cabbage, raw, 1 cup
Tortilla, corn, ready-to-bake/fry, 1 medium
Tortilla, flour, ready-to-bake/fry, one 6" diameter
Sour cream, reduced fat, cultured, 2 tablespoons
Bread, white, 1 ounce
Broccoli, raw, ½ cup
Bread, whole-wheat, 1 slice
Cheese, cream, regular, 1 tablespoon
Experts report that the best way to get calcium is by eating calcium-rich foods. An alternative way to get calcium is to take calcium supplements.Share |