A variety of foods contain calcium. Milk and other dairy products contain a lot of calcium.1,2 Low-fat and fat-free milk and dairy products are also great sources of calcium because:
Tweens and teens can get most of their daily calcium by drinking 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk, but they do need additional calcium (400 mg more) to get the entire 1,300 mg that is necessary for strong bone growth. Other good sources of calcium include milk products and milk substitutes, such as:
Milk isn't the only way for tweens and teens to get the 1,300 mg calcium they need every day. This is especially important for people who have lactose intolerance or who don't eat dairy products. Other good sources of calcium include:
Foods that are fortified with calcium (calcium is added) are also a good option. Check the ingredient list for:
Calcium supplements are an additional, alternative way to get calcium for children and adults who do not drink or cannot have milk or milk products.
Food labels on packaged, bottled, and canned foods show how much calcium is in one serving of food. Look at the % Daily Value (or % DV) next to the calcium number on the food label. To learn more about how to read food labels, visit How To Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label.
The following chart lists selected food sources ranked by the approximate amount of calcium in a standard portion:
Adapted from: Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. (2011). Dietary supplement fact sheet: Calcium. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium -HealthProfessional/ - h3
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