Calcium is probably one of the few minerals that, along with the main vitamin groups, most parents know is good for children. But calcium does a lot more than just about keeping your child's bones healthy.
What is calcium important for?
Babies' bones are not fully formed at birth, so making sure your little one has the right minerals in his diet to help his growth is vital.
As he develops his new activities such as crawling, cruising, toddling and eventually walking and running around, your baby's activities will help these bones grow, but at the same time, calcium is an important body ingredient.
Calcium also helps his body's muscles operate properly, so that they can grow, contract and relax depending on his needs. Calcium also helps his body's brain-to-limb communication by helping to build his brain pathways.
And that's not all - calcium is also important for blood clotting and the heart.
Good sources of calcium for your baby
It's well-known that dairy products are a good source of calcium. For babies, yoghurt and mushed or soft to eat broccoli and spinach are great options. For older children, nuts, seeds and some canned fish (small fish such as tinned mackerel) can be valuable sources of calcium.
What about milk intolerant or vegan babies?
If you are raising your baby on a vegan diet or your little one has a milk intolerance, you need to ensure your child is getting calcium from sources other than dairy. Soya in various forms (including milk) is excellent for calcium, as is tofu and green leafy vegetables.