8 Dairy-Free Ways to Get Calcium-Fortified Foods into Kids

Posted on: June 7th, 2017 by

I was paid by Kitchen PLAY to help families like yours find dairy-free calcium-fortified foods.

 

Do your kids drink milk? Do you worry whether or not they are getting enough calcium?

 

Dairy-Free Ways to Get Calcium-Fortified Foods into Kids

 

On a great day, my 3 boys usually drink A LOT of milk. That means we are home for all 3 meals and aren’t running around from school to home, home to sports, and sports to home. Reality is that doesn’t always happen. When my boys can’t drink as much milk as they should, I need to find ways to get them their calcium. I know many of you can relate.

 

I also recognize there are a lot of kids who either because of taste, lactose intolerance, a dairy allergy, or another reason, aren’t able to get the calcium their body needs from milk. As a mom who has a hard time with milk herself, I was delighted to be given the opportunity from Kitchen PLAY to come up with dairy-free solutions to help kids get the calcium they need for healthy bone development. In doing so, I learned that while many of the baked goods my family probably already eats are calcium fortified, brands don’t heavily promote that. You need to be a bit of a detective to find great calcium alternatives for your family.

 

I grabbed my boys, husband, and niece and we headed out to a local grocery store in search of calcium-fortified foods. Let us show you how easy it can be to add calcium to your kids’ diets even if they never drink milk.

 

8 Dairy-Free Ways to Get Calcium-Fortified Foods into Kids

TIP: When looking for calcium-rich foods, always read labels. During our hunt, we found significance differences in how much calcium food items had. There were even differences within a brand. For example, with English Muffins the S’mores and blueberry varieties have much less calcium than the whole grain variety.

 

Dairy-Free Calcium Fortified Foods for Breakfast

In our home, Sunday mornings are pancake breakfast mornings. My husband gets up with the kids and makes Aunt Jemima pancakes. I had no idea that all those pancakes my boys eat are helping them get the calcium they need. Three pancakes meets 10% of their calcium needs my growing tweens EACH eat about 6 pancakes.

 

calcium fortified foods pancakes

All this time, who knew the kids’ pancakes have 10% of the calcium they need every day?

 

On our hunt for calcium-fortified foods, we also found English muffins and bagels with 10% or more of your daily value of calcium.

 

Dairy-Free Calcium Fortified Foods for School Lunches

Whether you’re packing peanut butter and jelly, tuna fish sandwiches, ham and cheese subs or something else similar in your kids’ school lunches, you can pack those sandwiches with calcium. Look at the labels carefully. Some breads had only 4% of the daily value of calcium, while the calcium rich breads we pictured below had between 10% – 20% of the daily value of calcium.

 

calcium fortified foods bread

Read labels carefully and find a bread that packs calcium into every sandwich.

 

Dairy-Free Calcium Fortified Foods for Snacks

Want to feel better about giving your kids those chocolate chip cookies or sandwich crackers? Look for varieties that are fortified with 10% or more of the daily value of calcium.

 

Dairy-Free Calcium Fortified Foods for Family Dinners

Taco Tuesdays

Do you have Taco Tuesdays in your home? We do in ours! With sports almost every night of the week, tacos are such an easy meal to make that are a hit with everyone. When we compared taco shell brands we were surprised to find that it was a not-so-popular brand that had the most calcium. There are also calcium-rich tortilla brands.

 

calcium fortified foods taco shells

My playful 12-year-old son analyzing taco shells for their calcium content.

 

Pizza Night

Pizza is another easy go-to meal for our family. Ellio’s Pizza packs 15% of the daily value of calcium in every 2 slices. Have no guilt giving this pizza to your kids.

 

calcium-fortified foods pizza

Have no guilt serving up a pizza packed with calcium.

 

Holiday Barbecues

Did you host a barbecue for Memorial Day? Will you host one for July 4th? When shopping for your hot dogs and hamburgers, keep your eyes open for rolls that will easily add calcium to your barbecue.

 

calcium-fortified foods rolls

My 11-year-old found calcium-fortified rolls in the bread aisle.

 

Dairy-Free Calcium-Fortified Foods for Birthday Parties

Birthday parties…we make cupcakes for classes. We make cakes for home birthday parties. Did you know with Pillsbury and Duncan Hines those baked treats can be packed with calcium? As I decorate cupcakes for my 8-year-old son to bring to school, I know the icing will have sugar, but I’ll balance out that guilt knowing the cupcakes are helping him and his classmates meet their daily requirement for calcium.

 

calcium=fortified foods cupcakes

Sprinkled with stars, packed with calcium…. tastes delightful.

 

Dairy-Free Calcium-Fortified Foods on the Go

If you’re constantly on the go like us, you might have guilt about dining out or eating fast food. Here’s one way to add calcium to a meal on the go. Stop at Subway where their sub bread contains the same amount of calcium as a glass of milk in just a 6″ piece of bread and it’s fortified with vitamin D.

 

calcium-fortified foods Subway

Do you see 2 glasses of milk in this picture?

 

Adding calcium-rich foods to your kids’ meals doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be sneaky.

 

Share with us your dairy-free ideas for adding calcium to your kids’ meals.

Posted in: All, Parenting Help, Ways to have Fun at Home

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Jennifer Auer is the hyperlocal mom blogger who runs Jersey Family Fun. From New Jersey, this mom of 3 boys just can’t sit still! Her husband likes to say she’s a work-at-home mom who never stays home. Jennifer started traveling as a child and hasn’t stopped since. Instead of letting her husband and boys slow her down, she brings them along! Did you know that boys behave better when they are out exploring? As her boys start to become teens there’s still so many places she wants to discover with them both across the U.S. and internationally. She has been a Jersey Girl for 20+ years, and a Jersey Mom for 8+ years and a New Jersey mom blogger for 7 years, although she'd much rather be referred to as an influencer or just by name. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Bryant University in Rhode Island.

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