How much calcium is enough?

Calcium is an essential nutrient for bone growth, muscle development, strong teeth, and kidney health. Bones stop developing as older teens, so it’s critical that babies, children and young adults get plenty of calcium. Calcium is found in breastmilk, formula, dairy foods, tofu, soybeans, leafy greens, almonds, beans, oranges, and prunes among other foods.

Here are the calcium needs of different ages:

  • Babies under 6 months: 200 mg calcium daily.
  • Babies 6-11 months: 260 mg calcium daily.
  • Toddlers 1-3 years: 700 mg calcium daily.
  • Young children 4-8 years: 1,000 mg calcium daily.
  • Kids 9 years to adult: 1,300 mg of calcium daily.

Foods and their calcium content:

  • Yogurt, plain 8 oz: 415 mg
  • Milk, skim, 8 oz: 302 mg
  • Milk, 2%, 8 oz: 297 mg
  • Cheddar cheese, 1.5 oz: 306 mg
  • Mozzarella cheese, 1.5 oz: 275 mg
  • Tofu, soft, made with calcium sulfate, ½ cup: 138 mg
  • Pudding made with 2% milk, 4 oz: 153 mg
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice, 8 oz: 300 mg
  • Spinach, cooked ½ cup: 120 mg
  • Broccoli, raw ½ cup: 21 mg


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A healthy diet should begin the first day of life. The nutrients your child receives promote brain and body development. When healthful eating habits are instilled at a young age, children are more likely to become healthy adults.