The Scoop on Calcium Fortified Foods
It seems like every month there's another new calcium-fortified product-orange juice, cereal bars, fruit drinks, and more. Are these good sources of calcium? Nutrition experts encourage consumption of calcium through dairy products.
This form of calcium is easier for the body to absorb. Plus the vitamin D in milk helps the process. However, calcium-fortified foods are a reasonable alternative if your child is allergic to milk protein or lactose intolerant. Get your doctor's advice before removing dairy products from your child's diet.
The Meat Group Is Important Too!
The meat group contains protein foods. It includes meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, and nuts. Feel comfortable offering meat-group foods that are family favorites. Chopped peanuts in a stir fry, pinto beans in vegetable soup, or hummus on crackers all provide protein. You may need to cook a meat a bit longer than you prefer as your child gets used to its texture and taste. Let your child choose how much meat to eat (or none at all). Remember that young children's appetites vary from day to day. With time, they develop a taste for most foods.
Whole, Skim, Or Choose A Percent?
All types of milk, whether whole, skim (fat free), 1%, or 2%, have the same amounts of vitamins and minerals. All are healthy choices for children older than 2 years. Children between ages 1-2 years should only have whole milk. Once a child reaches her second birthday, you can gradually switch her to drinking reduced-fat milk.