Calcium For Children : How Much Do They Need?

Children have a very active life, from the moment they start to crawl until the time they reach adolescence. They engage in rigorous physical activities such as running, jumping, climbing, etc.

They may seem to enjoy the verve of their daily routine, but have you ever thought if their body is getting proper and enough nutrition demanded by these activities?

Your children bones are growing right along with them, and during their formative years, they need more calcium now more than ever.

About 50% of their bones are formed during these years. That’s the reason, that they need to pack their bones with calcium to help make them as dense and sturdy as possible. Bones make up the skeletal framework of the human body.

If the bones are weak, this can cause to break it even just a big sneeze. Exercise and adequate calcium both influence bone mass. Weight bearing exercise like dancing, weightlifting and running determine bone mass, shape and strength.

Excessive salt intake may increase the amount of calcium lost in the urine and, therefore, increase the body’s need for calcium. With healthy bones for your children you can save them from osteoporosis later in their lives.

Calcium intake is important during their teen years because bones grow and incorporate calcium faster during this time. At age 17, approximately 90% of the adult bone mass will have been established.

At age 21, calcium is no longer added to the bones. A few years later, a steady process of loss of calcium from bones begins, Genetically, people differ in calcium requirements in their bones when they reach maturity.

But how much calcium they take while they are growing has a great influence. The more calcium that is in the bones when loss begins, the longer it will take before the bones become fragile and fracture easily.

Good sources of calcium are green leafy vegetables and milk. Doctors recommend that children ages 4 to 8 get 800 mg. of calcium per day or the equivalent of 2 to 3 glasses of low fat milk.

Adolescents and young adults ages 9 to 18, whose bones are growing very fast need more calcium. They should have 1300 mg. which is about 4 to 5 glasses of low fat milk per day.

Some individuals cannot tolerate lactose which is one of the component of milk. They are called lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is the inability to properly digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. Symptoms often result to stomach cramps, bloating gas and diarrhea after taking dairy foods.

For children and teens with lactose intolerance, milk is often better tolerated when consumed with a meal. Calcium fortified foods and multivitamins are also good alternatives. Orange juice or calcium tablets which provide 2 to 500 mg. per tablet, can serve as the source of necessary calcium.

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