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Calcium is important in building and maintaining strong bones and teeth, helping cells function properly and in regulating the heartbeat. Milk and milk products are major sources of calcium in the diet.

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for Calcium

Infants 600 mg.
Children (1-10 yrs.) 800 mg.
Males (11-24 yrs.) 1,200 mg.
Females (11-24 yrs.) 1,200 mg.

16 oz. of milk gives roughly 600-800 mg

The following is a list of non-milk foods which contain significant amounts of calcium:

Food Amount of Calcium
Tums Ultra (2 ) 800 mg.
Regular Anti-acids (rolaids, tums etc.) 250-300 mg.
Tofu, firm, 1/2 cup 258 mg.
Orange juice fortified w/calcium 200 mg.
Salmon, canned w/bones 185 mg.
Rhubarb, cooked, 1/2 cup 174 mg.
Oatmeal, fortified, 3/4 cup 163 mg.
Spinach, frozen, cooked, 1/2 cup 138 mg.
Tofu, regular, 1/2 cup 130 mg.
Baked beans, white, 1/2 cup* 64 mg.
Frankfurter, turkey* 58 mg.
Orange, 1 medium 52 mg.


Another chart for calcium requirements for age are:

0-6 months old             200-400
6-12 months old           300-600
1-3 years old                500-800
4-8 years old                800
8-10 years old              800-1200
11-18 years old            1200-1500   




Yogurt, plain, low fat

8 oz


Collards, frozen, boiled

1 cup


Skim milk

12 oz


Spinach, frozen, boiled

1 cup


Yogurt, plain, whole milk

8 oz


Cheese food, pasteurized American

1 oz


Cottage cheese, 1% milk fat

1 cup


Baked beans, canned

1 cup


Iceberg lettuce

1 head


Canned salmon

3 oz



1 cup


Trail mix (nuts, seeds, chocolate chips)

1 cup



1 oz (24 nuts)


Blackeye peas, boiled

1 cup


Green peas, boiled

1 cup


So milk intake should be 12-24 oz a day by one year old and stay there for many years.  Too much milk and they get anemic and will not eat a proper solid food diet.  The children usually are in that range of 12-24 oz where their height/weight is on the growth curves.  For example if they are at the 50% then they would usually take in about 18oz a day.  If they are big and at the 90% height/weight, then they would be taking in 24 oz a day.  Then they get the few hundred mg of Calcium from cheese, ice cream, and other foods that have calcium.  IF they are allergic to milk then they can drink SILK (non-dairy milk) or the Orange Juice with calcium.  Or they can take a 500 mg chewable calcium from the stores.

By 8-10 years requirements increase and it goes higher at puberty.  When they go into puberty, the recommendations are 1500 mg of calcium for females and 1200 for males.  That is a lot of milk (three 8 oz glasses) so I recommend calcium supplements (and multiple vitamins) for most teens….usually 1000 mg supplement a day plus the milk and ice cream that they do eat.  The average teen only gets 300 mg a day.

We can load up their bones with calcium during their rapid growing years and prevent Osteoporosis in their later years.

Dr. Knapp

Plus give vitamins to children at all ages.  We just do not eat right most days.  Plus we eat less red meat.  Any vitamin that has Iron and Zinc.