Kids Can Get Calcium with these Dairy-Free Brands and Products 

Kids Can Get Calcium with these Dairy-Free Brands and Products 

By Paige Mandel, MS RD

 

 

Has your doctor or dietitian recommended your child to explore a dairy-free diet? Are you curious if your child would benefit from adhering to a dairy-free lifestyle?

 

A dairy-free diet recommendation could be due to one of many reasons for both children and adults alike. In children, regular consumption of dairy may lead to exacerbated symptoms of eczema, asthma, gastrointestinal discomfort, or disrupted bowel habits. Intolerance to dairy may be caused by a cow’s milk allergy, lactose intolerance, cardiovascular and inflammatory conditions, cancer, hormonal imbalances, etc. or individuals may be inclined to avoid dairy at meals with meat due to religious dietary restrictions or ethical beliefs.

 

While this exploration may be both confusing and dauting at first, the dairy-free market has expanded exponentially in recent years, making the swap to dairy-free products significantly easier, and we’re here to help! A dairy-free diet simply is defined by a balanced diet with the substitution of dairy-products with calcium fortified plant based alternatives. Eating dairy is most commonly, the most effective way to include calcium in the diet. Therefore, the initial concern is often “will my child get enough calcium for their growing bones”?

 

What is Calcium?

Calcium is an important mineral for growing, strong bones, and also a key element to proper heart beat and muscle contraction, normal nerve conduction, blood clotting and maintaining connective tissue.

 

How Much Calcium Does My Child Need?

Calcium is measured in milligrams (mg), with different needs at different stages of life. The optimal source of calcium for kids is through food, yet calcium supplementation may be recommended by your child’s healthcare team, to help meet these needs if their diet is inadequate1. Additionally, Vitamin D is the nutrient that helps the body take in calcium from the foods we eat, enhancing its absorption. Therefore, both calcium and vitamin D are needed together to help support optimal bone growth in kids and teens.

 

The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Calcium and Vitamin D are suggested by life stage2,3

Age Calcium (mg)   Age Vitamin D (mcg) (IU)
Birth-6 months 210mg   0-12 months 10 mcg (400 IU)
6 months- 1 year 270mg   1-13 years 15 mcg (600 IU)
1-3 years 500mg   14-18 years 15 mcg (600 IU)
4-8 years 800mg   19-50 years 15 mcg (600 IU)
9-18 years 1,300mg   51-70 years 15 mcg (600 IU)
19-50 years 1,000mg   >70 years 20 mcg (800 IU)
51-70 years 1,200mg      
71 and older 1,200mg      
Pregnant Teens 1,300mg      
Pregnant Adults 1,000mg      

 

 

 

It is also important to consider protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake in addition to the many micronutrients, vitamins and minerals of your dairy-free alternative selection.

 

 

Here is a cheat-sheet to the market of kid-friendly, plant based, dairy-free products:

 

Category Brand/Product Protein Calcium Vitamin D Fat Carb Kosher Other
Yogurt                
  Kite Hill Kids Yogurt Tubes

 

2g “Good Source” “Good Source” 2.5g 8g Vitamin B12. Live Active Cultures: S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, Bifidobacteria, L. Acidophilus
  Daiya Dairy Free Yogurt Alternative 6g 267mg 2mcg 8g 12g Iron (6% DV)
  Silk Kids Almondmilk Yogurt Alternative 4g 130mg 3mcg 6g 12g Iron (6% DV), Potassium (2% DV)
  So Delicious Oatmilk Yogurt 3g 130mg 2mcg 3.5g 19g   Live and Active Cultures, Vitamin B12
  So Delicious Coconutmilk Yogurt <1g 260mg 2.5mcg 5g 25g  
  Once Upon A Farm Dairy-Free Yogurt Pouch 5g 19mg 0mcg 7g 14g Iron (30% DV), Potassium (10% DV), Vitamin C (150% DV), Vitamin B6 (20% DV)
  Follow Your Heart 1g 35% dv 0 mcg 11g 10g Potassium (4% DV), Magnesium(25% DV)

 

  Forager Project Drinkable Cashewmilk Yogurt 3g 23mg 0mcg 8g 8g Live Active Cultures (S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, B. Bifidum, B. Lactis, L. Acidophilus, L. Casei, L. Paracasei, L. Plantarum, L. Rhamnosus).
  Forager Project Unsweetened Cashewmilk Yogurt 3g 2% 0g 7g 9g  Live Active Cultures (S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Lactis, L. Plantarum)
  Forager Project Greek Style Unsweetened 7g 2% 0g 10g 9g Live Active Cultures (S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Lactis, L. Plantarum)
Milk Brand/Product Protein Calcium Vitamin D Fat Carb Kosher Other
  Ripple Kids Almond Milk with Prebiotics and DHA 8g 455mg 6mcg 8g 8g 50 mg DHA Omega-3’s to help support developing brains

Choline to help transport DHA for brain-building nutrition

Prebiotics to help support happy tummies

  So Delicious Dairy Free Milk (Almond Milk Unsweetened) <1g 450mg 2.5mcg 2.5g 1g   Iron (2% DV), Vitamin A (15% DV), Vitamin E (25%)

 

  So Delicious Dairy Free Milk (Coconut Milk Unsweetened Vanilla) 0g 130mg 2.5mcg 4.5g 2g Vitamin A (15% DV), Vitamin B12

(120% DV), Magnesium (8% DV), Zinc (8% DV), Selenium (15% DV)

  So Delicious Dairy Free Milk (Cashew Milk Unsweetened) <1 130mg 2.5mcg 4g 1g Vitamin A (15% DV), Vitamin B12

(120% DV), Magnesium (8% DV), Zinc (8% DV), Selenium (15% DV)

  So Delicious Chocolate Coconutmilk 1g 10% DV 30% DV 5g 13g   Vitamin A (10% DV), Iron (8%), Folate (6%), Vitamin B12 (5050, Magnesium (15%), Zinc (6%), Selenium (10%)
  Milkadamia Macadamia Milk 1g 390mg 5mcg 3.5g <1g  
  Good Karma Flaxmilk Omega 3 + Protein Unsweetened 8g 320mg 2.3mcg 3g 1g 1200mg of Omega-3s per serving

 

  Califia Farms Probiotic Dairy Free Drink 3g 40mg 0mcg 8g 19g Easy, grab-and-go bottle, Potassium (6% DV), Vitamin C (100% DV), Live Active Cultures: Bifidobacterium BB-12, S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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