Here is my second collaboration with my lovely friend Sally www.sproutingyumminess.com . Our second topic is “My child has gone off their milk, how can I make sure they are getting enough calcium? “
I will talk about our first born who was a fussy drinker as a baby and now I call him my fussy eater toddler!
He’s always been a bad drinker as a baby when I breastfed him. I had more than enough milk to give and I was pumping religiously and froze 2-3 bags of milk every day, but he was just not drinking enough. By the time he’s reached 5 months old I had to move him to formula milk as I wasn’t producing enough for him amymore. The guilt kicked in and it has made me very sad as a first time mum and have shed many tears.
It was a daily battle to feed the recommended amount of milk and at 6 months, once the weaning process began, it was a case of ‘hiding’ milk in his food as he was not drinking enough from the bottle. One of my biggest concerns was his lack of calcium for his growing bones, nerves and other cells. If this sounds like you; your little one has lost interest in their milk or they have a milk or dairy allergy, TRY NOT TO WORRY, there are numerous other sources of calcium, many of which are actually better than milk at providing calcium that actually works with our bodies, helping our littleones to grow healthy happy cells!
Here is a piece which Sally has written so nicely.
Here’s why… our bodies find calcium difficult to absorb if the environment isn’t quite right. For example, absorption is hampered if our child’s diet is high in acidic foods such as meat, refined carbohydrates and soft drinks/ juices. When we eat food derived from animals, like milk, calcium is actually taken from the bones to properly digest the animal protein. So, in short, when your littleone is drinking milk they may be taking in calcium but they will also be using their calcium stores to digest the milk. This is why vegetable based sources of calcium are equally, if not more, important for building our child’s calcium levels. Calcium also requires vitamin D to be properly absorbed so encouraging your littleone to play outside or looking into supplementation of vitamin D is another way of optimising their calcium absorption.
Our bodies need and use calcium more than any other mineral. It is important for our little people because it helps develop their rapidly growing bones, it plays an important role in muscle contraction and transmitting nerve and hormone messages around the body (including between their brain cells) for normal cell function. Non-dairy sources of calcium include green vegetables (like broccoli, kale, spinach, and edamame beans), oranges, avocado, butternut squash, oily fish (like canned salmon and sardines), white beans and ground almonds – another reason to encourage our little ones to eat this sort of food every day and to avoid junk food as part of their everyday eating.