By Preeti Athri
Milk has long been considered as a complete food, complete with proteins, vitamins, fats, essential enzymes and calcium for healthy bones and teeth. It’s no surprise that our mothers would insist that we chug down at least one glass of cow or buffalo milk daily with turmeric, sugar or chocolate-flavored malt powder.
But of late, lactose intolerance, or the inability to digest milk and milk products, is increasingly being diagnosed in children. If your child is lactose intolerant, or allergic to milk, you might probably wonder whether s/he is getting adequate calcium. The good news is that other foods are rich in calcium too and including these in snack recipes for kids will ensure that they continue to have great bone and tooth health. Here are some ingredients you could include in your child’s diet.
You will never run out of healthy snacks for children when you have nuts handy. 100 grams of almonds contain as much as 264mg of calcium. Cashews, pistachios and brazil nuts are also a rich source of the mineral.
One block of tofu contains a phenomenal amount of calcium, more than the recommended amount for a day. Add this to stir-fries or crumble them like scrambled eggs to get the most of its benefits.
3. Kidney Beans
100 grams of good old rajma contains 143mg of calcium. So, the next time you think of making rajma chawal or rajma salad, do not think twice!
Homemade jam with brown bread and dry fruit laddoos are great snack recipes for kids. Sneak figs into these and you have the calcium going in!
5. Poppy Seeds
Just one single teaspoon of poppy seeds has about 9mg of calcium. Add them to veggies, crackers or salad for a nutty, calcium boost!
6. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like spinach, moringa leaves, amaranth leaves, etc. are rich in calcium as well. Sneak these into dosas, parathas, and dals. Here's one healthy yet yummy recipe spinach fitters for the evening snack.
100 grams of broccoli contains 47mg of calcium. Add finely chopped roasted broccoli to dosa aata and whip up mini appams (paniyarams). You could try this the next time you’re looking for healthy snack recipes for kids.
8. Amaranth grain
Amaranth grain or rajgira has a whopping 159mgs of calcium in 100 grams. So now you know, snacking on rajgira chikki or rajgira kheer is totally ok because you’re getting all the good stuff!
9. Get Vitamin D
To ensure that calcium absorption takes place completely in the body, getting enough Vit D is essential. Indulging in exercise or outdoor play in the early hours is a good way to get the sunshine vitamin.
Whether you are lactose intolerant or not, getting enough calcium through non-dairy sources is not all that difficult. Here’s to healthy bones and teeth for all!