Now that our 20-month-old refuses milk, how can we ensure she gets enough calcium?
Many children start refusing milk in the early years. Whether this is because of the taste, because they are uncomfortable after drinking it, or just to be stubborn and controlling is sometimes hard to tell. Whatever the reason, it does no good to try to force the issue because parents always lose. Chocolate or strawberry milk is the first thing I always suggest, but you have tried that.
needs about 500 mg of calcium per day. While milk is the easiest source of calcium and phosphorus, it certainly is not the only one. Not only does calcium-fortified orange juice provide about as much calcium ounce per ounce as milk, but the slightly acid content of the juice enhances absorption of calcium from the intestine. Puddings and ice cream, cheese, yogurt, broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables, garbanzo beans and lentils, canned fish such as sardines, salmon, and other fish with bones, and tofu are alternative sources. In addition, almonds (ground and baked into food rather than large pieces, which she can inhale), refried beans, dried beans and peas, and corn tortillas can supply calcium as well.
For more information on meal planning for adequate calcium, go to www.mealsmatter.org.