Signs of calcium deficiency include poor growth and poor quality bones and teeth.
Our requirements for calcium change with age and differ in men and women:
- 0 to 12-month-olds – 520mg (9 stars)
- 1 to 3-year-olds – 350mg (6 stars)
- 4 to 6-year-olds – 450 mg (8 stars)
- 7 to 10-year-olds – 550mg (9 stars)
- 11 to 18-year-old boys – 1000mg (17 stars)
- 11 to 18-year-old girls – 800mg (13 stars)
- Adults – 700mg (12 stars)
- Breastfeeding mums – 1250mg (21 stars)
- Post-menopausal women – 1200mg (20 stars)
- Adults with Coeliac Disease or IBD – 1500mg (25 stars)
Do you meet your daily calcium requirements?
Eating a varied and balanced diet based on the Eatwell Plate should ensure you get sufficient calcium in your diet. Calcium is found naturally in milk and dairy foods, oily fish, nuts and beans, dark green vegetables and dried fruit. In the UK it is added to white bread. Fortified soya milks and yogurts are a good source of added calcium.
The ready reckoner below can help you to ensure you are including enough calcium rich foods every day.
Calcium READY RECKONER:
|Food||Calcium stars (1 star = 60mg – approximately)|
A serving (30g) of Ready Brek
A serving of whitebait (60g)
|A serving (50g) of tofu||5|
A Naan bread 170g
|A serving (100g) of pilchards||4|
|Milk, all types – including enriched soya, rice or oat milk, 200ml||4|
Sardines 60g (half a tin)
|Prawns 80g (3 tblsp)||3|
|Hard cheese 40g (1 slice)||3|
|Gulab jamen 75g||3|
|4 Dried figs||3|
|White flour (self -raising) 50g||3|
|Calcium enriched water or orange juice 200ml||3|
|Fortified breakfast bar 37g||3|
|2 slices Gluten free bread||3|
Salmon, tinned 115g
|2 Faggots, 190g||2|
|Baked beans 220g (small tin)||2|
|2 slices white or brown bread||2|
|2 scoops (120g) Ice Cream (non-dairy, vanilla)||2|
Bombay Mix 100g
|Nuts 30g e.g. almonds, Brazils or pistachios||1|
|Spring Greens 75g||1|
|Swiss style muesli, 60g||1|
|Serving of broccoli||1|
Sesame or Sunflower seeds, 25g,
Vitamin D is essential for our bodies to use calcium properly:
LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION:
- NHS Choices pages on calcium, vitamin Dand healthy eating.
- US National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements factsheet on calcium, and vitamin D.
Some of this information was adapted from a diet sheet produced by dietitians at Ealing NHS PCT in 2004 with permission and thanks.
Calcium content of foods sourced from the government publication McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods integrated dataset, 2002
Daily requirements sourced from the government publication Dietary Reference Values of Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom, published in 1991.