How much calcium and Vitamin D does my child need?
We get this question a lot during our well child exams. The answer varies per age group, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics these are the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA):
0-6 months > 200 mg calcium daily > 400 IU vitamin D
7-12 months > 260 mg calcium daily > 400 IU vitamin D
1-3 years > 700 mg calcium daily > 600 IU vitamin D
4-8 years > 1000 mg calcium daily > 600 IU vitamin D
9-18 years > 1300 mg calcium daily > 600 IU vitamin D
Where can my child get their calcium and vitamin D from?
Milk is the best source for both of these vitamins. Many children have allergies, so there are a wide variety of milk products to choose from which can still supply these necessary nutrients. Here are the most common:
Whole milk, goats milk, rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk and hemp milk (homemade versions of these milks do not contain the same amount of vitamins as store brands because they are not fortified). They can also get these vitamins from yogurts, cheeses and fortified juices and cereals.
Vitamin D can also be found in fishes such as swordfish, mackerel, salmon, tuna, and sardines. Sun exposure, in moderation, is also a good source to help people meet their recommended Vitamin D levels.
If your baby is allergic to cow’s milk protein, make sure to discuss other formula options with your pediatrician! If your baby is solely breastfed, vitamin D supplementation is recommended to maintain adequate levels of 400 IU per day.
Calcium and vitamin D are an essential part of a child’s diet. vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, which is necessary for building bones, muscle contraction, nerve transmission and hormone secretion.
Talk to your doctor with any questions or concerns!