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How much calcium do children & teens need?

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The Milk Matters Program, a public health education campaign to promote calcium consumption among adolescents, provides guidelines on the amount of calcium that children need according to their age.

Calcium needs differ depending on a child's age:1

At ages Children and teens should consume this much calcium every day:
Younger than 6 months 200 mg/day
6 ot 12 months 260 mg/day
1 to 3 years 700 mg/day
4 to 8 years 1,000 mg/day
9 to 13 years 1,300 mg/day
14 to 18 years 1,300 mg/day

Many children and teens do not get enough calcium. One large survey found that among children aged 9 to 13 years, only about 12% of girls and 17% of boys consumed the recommended daily amount of calcium. For older teens, 42% of boys and only 10% of girls consumed enough calcium daily.2


  1. Institute of Medicine. (2010, November). Dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D. Report brief. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2010/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-for-Calcium-and-Vitamin-D.aspx External Web Site Policy [top]
  2. Moshfegh, A. J., Goldman, J., & Cleveland, L. (2009). What we eat in America, NHANES 2005–2006: Usual nutrient intakes from food and water compared to 1997 dietary reference intakes for vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/12355000/pdf/0506/usual_nutrient_intake_vitD_ca_phos_mg_2005-06.pdf (PDF - 756 KB) [top]

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Last Updated Date: 11/30/2012
Last Reviewed Date: 11/30/2012
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