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September 15, 2010

Is Milk Your Best Source of Calcium & Are you getting enough?

Since 1980, milk consumption in this country has dropped by more than 22 percent.

What happened? When did we stop needing milk?

Many American households still don’t drink the amount of milk they probably should and have largely replaced the milk in their diets with sodas, energy drinks, bottled teas, juice and bottled water.

Why is milk important you might ask?

Here's one reason I can think of.......
It takes calcium to build strong bones. So calcium is especially important during the tween and teen years, when bones are growing their fastest.

How much calcium does a body need?
{according to the National Institute of Child Health & Development}

Birth - 6 months   ~   210mg
6 -12 months       ~   270mg
1 - 3 years           ~   500mg
4 - 8 years           ~   800mg
9 - 18 years         ~   1300mg

Boys and girls in these age groups have calcium needs that they can’t make up for later in life. In fact, by the time teens finish their growth spurts around age 17, 90 percent of their adult bone mass is established.  It's important to store calcium in a child's 'bone bank'  before they reach the age of 17 years.  Storing up calcium also helps later on in life with combating Osteoporosis.

Unfortunately, fewer than one in ten girls and only one in four boys ages 9 to 13 are at or above their adequate intake of calcium.This lack of calcium has a big impact on bones and teeth.

How much calcium does milk contain?

An 8 oz serving of milk {whole, low fat, non fat, lactose free} contains 300mg of calcium.

Milk isn't the only way to get calcium into the body but I think it's the easiest.  For example:  you would have to eat 5 cups of broccoli to get as much calcium that's in a glass of milk. 

Here are some ideas for calcium rich meals and snacks:

Pour low-fat or fat-free milk over your breakfast cereal.
Have a cup of low-fat or fat-free yogurt.
Drink a glass of calcium-fortified orange juice.
Add low-fat or fat-free milk instead of water to oatmeal or hot cereal.

Add low-fat or fat-free cheese to a sandwich.
Have a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk instead of soda.
Have a piece of pizza or a serving of macaroni and cheese.
Add low-fat or fat-free milk instead of water to tomato soup.

Make a fruit smoothie with fruit, ice, and low-fat or fat-free milk.
Try flavored low-fat or fat-free milk, such as chocolate or strawberry.
Have low-fat or fat-free frozen yogurt.
Try some pudding made with low-fat or fat-free milk.
Dip fruits and vegetables into low-fat or fat-free yogurt.
Have some low-fat or fat-free string cheese.

Make a salad with dark-green, leafy vegetables.
Serve broccoli or cooked, dry beans as a side dish.
Top salads, soups, and stews with low-fat or fat-free shredded cheese.
Toss tofu with added calcium into stir fry and other dishes.
Serve with a glass of chocolate milk.

For more information about this subject, please visit Milk Matters.

How much calcium do you get and how? 

Happy Wednesday!
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Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Great post- very informative.

Pat Tillett said...

Okay, but only if I can put a little chocolate syrup in it...

Maude Lynn said...

We are very big on milk at my house!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I am usually short of calcium as I don't have milk apart from morning porridge.

Mary said...

Excellent! We have a severe shortage of calcium in our diets and it is exaggerated by the use of soft drinks. As I understand it the phosphoric acid in sodas leeches out the calcium we do have. So, someone who replaces milk with pop will not only miss the bone growth, they will also destroy what they have. I will look for a source for you.

In addition, I know that the calcium in our diets helps control blood pressure. And, if a person gets the recommended dairy servings, they are more likely to be a healthy weight. Calcium is needed for muscle contractions and thus helps the heart work. Calcium and Vitamin D also reduce our risk of colon cancer.

I can find more resources on the health benefits if you are interested. As a nurse and a dairy farmer I am very concerned about out society's underconsumption. It is not relly over production which is what we here in the dairy journals. Only 25% of American women get adequate calcium and 50% of the men. I am afraid we are heading for a huge epidemic of fractured hips. A large percent of patients who fracture the hip die within a year too.

Let me know you interests.
Mary Fleming BSN, RN
Agriculture Health Nurse

Cindy said...

Nancy, great it! I am involved with a team of MOMs ( Moms on a misson) promoting better nutrition for kids...As our foods today are getting more and more nutrient deficient..Calcium and other minerals so important for your immune system and overall health! We are promoting Isagenix. have you heard of it?... contains 242 minerals and vitamins in a water soluable formulation so our bodies can easily process it... a easy and great way to ensure our kids are getting the needed nutrients each day in a great tasting breakfast shake! We love it! Check it out
Keep up the great job! :)

Trina said...

Timely post! My son turns 9 today so this is a nice reminder to let him know his daily requirements increased today. With age comes responsibility of drinking more milk and other dairy products.