Children's Needs

Children should eat a balanced diet, one that includes fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat, fish, and eggs.

Minimize starchy foods, such as crackers, pasta, pretzels and potato chips.

About calcium and children's bones

Your child's intake of calcium and the long-lasting benefits it provides bones and spinal structures in later years cannot be overstated.

Calcium can be found in many foods other than milk. Broccoli, salmon, and kale are just some of the foods rich in calcium.

The recommended calcium intake for children ages 4 to 8 is about 800 mg per day. Children ages 9 to 18 should take in almost double or approximately 1,300 mg per day.

Three 8-ounce glasses of milk will fit the bill for children under the age of 8. Milk substitutes such as those made from soy are acceptable alternatives, as long as they are fortified with vitamins and calcium. Orange juice can be a source of calcium if your child doesn't prefer or can't tolerate milk.

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