Have you noticed any delay in your child’s development, weakened bones, or dental problems? Are they experiencing cramping, or fatigue? Are you concerned about their risk of bleeding, bone health, or hormone imbalances?
Insufficient intake of calcium food in children can result in a condition known as hypocalcemia, which is characterized by a deficiency in calcium. This condition is particularly worrisome as it may not present any symptoms in its early stages. However, in the long term, it can lead to dental issues, osteoporosis, and even impaired brain function.
Reasons for a low amount of calcium?
Possible reasons for a low amount of calcium intake include inadequate consumption of calcium food, limited intake of dairy products, poor calcium absorption due to medical conditions or dietary restrictions, and insufficient exposure to sunlight for vitamin D production. Chronic medication use, certain lifestyle choices, ageing, genetic factors, and inadequate supplementation can also contribute to low calcium levels
Techniques to Increase Calcium in growth and development.
1. Include foods high in calcium in your diet, such as dairy items like milk, Yogurt, and cheese. Other calcium food to ingest include leafy greens, fortified cereals, tofu, and almonds.
2. Select goods that are fortified with calcium: Go for calcium-enriched drinks like orange juice or plant-based milk substitutes. These might offer an extra calcium supply.
3. If necessary, take into account supplements: If obtaining the recommended amount of calcium through diet alone is difficult, speak with a healthcare provider who may suggest calcium supplements.
4. Make sure you are getting enough vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. Consider taking supplements or spending time in the sun to make vitamin D naturally, especially if sunlight exposure.
5. Maintain well-balanced eating habits: To support general health, including calcium absorption and utilisation, maintain a diet rich in a range of nutrients.
CALCIUM Food sources:
Cow’s milk and its products:
It is the most commonly consumed type of milk and naturally a good source of many nutrients like calcium, protein, phosphorus and Vitamin B2. In several countries, it is fortified with vitamin D because milk doesn’t naturally contain vitamin D, but is one of the most widely used calcium rich foods for kids. These two work together to keep the bones strong. There are some dairy products made of cow’s milk like cheese, yogurt which are a good source of vitamin D
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In comparison to other natural resources, fortified corn flakes and oat meals or granola mixes may provide less vitamin D, but still they can be a good way to boost the vitamin D levels. These cereals can be consumed together with milk or yogurt to achieve both calcium and vitamin D for the body. The most important check to make here is the sugar levels in the cereal. Added sugar intake can adversely impact calcium and vitamin D levels.
Also check, How does sugar impact bones?
Eggs are one of the highest natural sources of vitamin D. Just one whole large egg provides 50% of vitamin D required for the day. It helps to maintain strong bones and teeth. Those who can may opt for fish (salmon, sardines) also as a source of vitamin D.
The yummy bananas are a great source of magnesium, which plays an important role in activating vitamin D in the body. Journal of the American osteopathic Association, suggests that- it is essential to consume the recommended amount of magnesium to obtain the optimal benefits of vitamin D. So while bananas don’t have vitamin D directly, it enables absorption. In addition, bananas are also a great source of quick energy (simple carbs) and prebiotic fibre (for digestion) for kids. Win-win!
Moringa is a super food. It has 3 times more calcium than milk which makes it an excellent food to treat weak or damaged bones and also one of the best non dairy sources of calcium. Some studies also indicate that moringa can heal damaged bones thus making it a must have calcium rich foods for bones. Dried moringa leaf powder has 17 times more vitamin D than fortified milk. In addition to this, it’s a fix for digestion troubles, immunity and iron.
Ragi is also one of the foods high in calcium and vitamin D. It is said that no other plant source provides calcium the way ragi can making it one of a popular non-dairy sources of calcium. Ragi also has vitamin D and along with calcium, it can help in improving bone strength. It is a whole grain that is gluten free also and can be used in baking cakes and cookies.
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Mushrooms are a rich ‘plant’ source of vitamin D. Researchers has found that we can increase levels of vitamin D even more by exposing mushrooms to the sun for 10-15 minutes. Mushrooms can be consumed either directly or also in the form of dried mushroom powder, which can be used throughout the year, even when the season of mushroom has passed. For kids who are picky and don’t particularly enjoy eating mushroom, using the powder is an easy option. You can hide it in any batter or dough to make pancakes, wraps, bread, paratha, pizza.
Also check, Easy pizza recipe to hide mushroom powder
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