The other I decided to record everything Annabelle ate (she is a vegan toddler aged 21 months between) to measure how much calcium she had over the course of the day. As a mum and nutritionist I like checking my kids get enough calcium, protein, iron, zinc once in a while. (I used the free app called cronometer to record her food intake).
Toddlers need 700mg of calcium daily. Older children will need 1000mg/day and women need 1000mg per day until the age of 50 and then 1300mg after that.
In my nutrition practice I see too many women, mothers and children not meeting their calcium requirement on a vegan diet. This is often due from not using calcium fortified plant milks. Using calcium fortified plant milks or soy milk is a must for children and women on a vegan diet. Too many people assume they get enough calcium from eating broccoli a few times per week and using a drizzle of tahini in salads. Sadly this is not enough to cover the big demand for calcium for children and women.
The best calcium food sources in a vegan diet are:
- calcium fortified plant milks (I recommend 2 serves per day to cover half of the requirement daily)
- calcium fortified orange juice
- adzuki beans
- tahini and sesame seeds
- almond butter and almonds
- leafy greens
- navy beans
- black strap molasses
- chia seeds
I shared everything Annabelle ate and she got over 800mg of calcium that day.
– berry smoothie
– black bean quesadilla
– almond butter toast + soy milk
– tofu, brocoli and rice for dinner.
I adjusted her intake based on how much she left on her plate. I am happy that her diet really covers all of her nutrient needs. Over 800mg of calcium when she needs 700mg. This is only possible by using calcium fortified soy milk and tofu though. You can see in the pic that the broccoli itself is only bringing in 12mg so as a toddler there is no way she could eat enough broccoli to cover her calcium needs!
If you liked this type of vegan nutrition post I share more vegan and kids nutrition content on my new Instagram @healthy.little.tummies and you can also find out more about plant based nutrition for children in my online program Nourishing Plant-based Kids.