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