Calcium Supplement for 3 Almost 4 Year Old?

Updated on June 14, 2010
T.L. asks from Fresno, CA
13 answers

My daughter will be 4 in july. she hates milk. the only milk i can get her to drink is chocolate but i dont give it to her often because of all the sugar and stuff. My question is, is there a safe calcium supplement that she can take being so young? or is she okay, just getting calcuim from her vitamins?

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answers from San Francisco on

Don't forget that there is Orange Juice with extra Calcium and other drinks like that and other foods that she can get it from too. Try the gummy vitamins from Costco as well.

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answers from Seattle on

There are plenty of sources of calcium aside from milk. If your daughter just doesn't like drinking milk I would go with other dairy. For example one cup (8 oz) of yogurt contains half (about 400 mg) of the recommended calcium for kids aged 4-8 (800 mg). Combine that with fortified orange juice, leafy green vegetables and other dairy products like cheese and you will easily get her enough calcium without supplementing.

One more tip, if she prefers flavored milk, consider blending milk with some fruit for a smoothie. She may find it more appealing and it does not contain all the sugar and other stuff found in commercial preparations.
Good luck.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Do NOT give calcium supplements without consulting a doctor (at the very least)
I had a friend growing up whos sister had been given calcium supplements at an early age, and she stopped developing mentally. Very sad.
I would try to find out how she can get it naturally, there are plenty of other things besides milk that contain calcium.

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answers from San Francisco on

I agree there are lots of good non-milk calcium rich options. But just to give you another view of this,we went through this with my daughter at the same age.

Please talk to your pediatrician before giving her any supplement. Not liking milk may be her way of protecting her body.

With my daughter, she didn't like milk because we found out it hurt her tummy. We ultimately discovered she couldn't tolerate the fat content in milk, so we switched her to low sugar, calcium fortified soy milk that we bought in aseptic packaging from costco. She drank this for a few years, but now appears to be growing out of it and can drink fat-free milk.

She has always been able to handle yogurt and is now able to tolerate cheese (and likes it!). We also now give her a probiotic (which I explain more at, which seems to help her digestive system.

Calcium is really important for kids as they build their bone mass only until their late teens, so it's great that you are trying to find the best solution for your daughter.

I hope this helps!



answers from Topeka on

As the other Moms have said...Milk is not the only source for calcium...does she like yogurt? You can snazz it up with fresh berries or granola...will she eat cereal...she would get milk that way. I googled best sources for calcium and was surprised at some of the ideas...trail mix, oranges, almonds,black eyes peas, baked beans. So you see there are lots of ways to get that calcium into her system. Don't forget about Vitamin D helps our body make the best use of the calcium!!!



answers from Bakersfield on

Hi Mama-
There is alot of debate over whether or not a child should even drink milk. Have you tried goats milk or almond milk? Steer clear of soy in babies, but as she gets older you may want to try that, too. As far I as beleive, as long as she is taking a regular vitamin and eating a well rounded diet, she can get calcium from other things like drak leafy greens and some beans.
Check with a certified nutritionist, but milk is not the diamond in the rough. It is an option.
Hope this helps- good luck
-E. M



answers from San Francisco on

I'm sure I'll get negative comments from others for this, but here's how we handle a similar situation. My daughter is an extremely picky eater who hates plain milk, yogurt, all fruits but orange juice and applesauce, and most vegetables. So she gets her calcium from calcium-fortified orange juice and chocolate milk and a little bit of cheese here and there. Her pediatrician said chocolate milk is better than no milk in our case. There are definitely brands of chocolate milk that have less sugar, fat and preservatives than others, so compare labels or just make your own with a dab of chocolate syrup in plain milk. I also noticed that my daughter would finish an entire 8oz container of chocolate milk if it was in a McDonald's "milk chug" shaped bottle, but not nearly as much if in a generic container or if poured into one of her Hello Kitty cups, etc. So I now keep an empty McDonald's chocolate milk container around and serve her homemade chocolate milk in it with less chocolate. It works very well for us. I know others wouldn't let their kids near chocolate milk for various good reasons, but in our case it's the best solution. So talk to your pediatrician and do whatever you've gotta do for your situation.



answers from Sacramento on

Why not try her on dairy products other than milk first? Yogurt is a favorite with the children in our childcare. We serve vanilla yogurt and give them fresh fruit to eat with it, so that we don't have the added sugar that's in the fruit flavored yogurts. Our kids also love cheese of any kind. We try to watch and give them the ones with the least sodium content. You can also try out the vegetables that are high in calcium. If you can get her to eat all these things, the calcium in her regular vitamins should be enough.
I was a child who also refused to drink milk without flavoring in it. I got chocolate milk a lot because people didn't realize the negative effects of doing that at that time. As far as I can tell, it hasn't harmed me, but I agree with you that overdoing the chocolate isn't a good thing.



answers from Sacramento on

Does she like yogurt or cheese or any other dairy products? My daughter doesn't drink milk at all, but she gets plenty of calcium from other dairy products that she likes. As for chocolate milk, I've read in several places that the sugar in some chocolate milks is pretty minimal, so you might want to look in to different brands. You could compare the sugar content to the juice you buy, probably would end up being pretty comprable.


answers from Austin on

My 4yo daughter isn't a big milk drinker either. Instead, she drinks 2 eight oz cups of a homemade yogurt smoothie (all it is is yogurt and just enough milk to make it liquidy so she can drink it through a straw; oh, and I run it through a strainer because she doesn't like the chunks of fruit/seeds; email me if you want the actual ratio of yogurt to milk.) It ends up giving her at least 7 grams of protein, natural calcium and probiotics. She watches a cartoon in the morning and when she gets home from daycare and the deal is that she has to drink her smoothie if she wants the tv show. Although on most days, she asks us to get her smoothie when she sits down for her show... It's rarely a fight.

I choose to use yogurt that is made which sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. Yes, there is some sugar in yogurt but compared to milk flavorings, I can live with the sugar in yogurt.

She also gets 1 calcium tablet each day. She likes them-- I give it to her after dinner/before bath and she calls it a 'bath treat'. I buy the Animal Parade (aka Nature's Plus) brand (chewable, vanilla sundea); it's found in the organic healthfood section of the grocery store instead if the regular vitamin section.

Her dentist says her teeth are good, she's in the normal 50% height percentile... I really don't do anything else besides the smoothies (and her vitamins). Actually, she's allergic to cows milk (I use goat milk & goat yogurt) so she's not getting much calcium from cheese or other dairy sources... All I can assume is that 16oz of the smoothies each day is sufficient for her calcium needs.

Hope my ramblings help. Good luck.


answers from San Francisco on

My daughter doesn't like straight milk often either but she will drink it if I cut it with a little coco milk. Just the smallest amount to turn the milk from white to a light brown is enough to get her to suck the whole cup down. You don't need a lot. Also, smoothies are brilliant. One cup milk, one cup orange juice, one banana and one container of strawberry yogurt and there's plenty of calcium that she'll be happy to drink.



answers from San Francisco on

There is a lot of calcium in broccoli, pinto, red and white beans (hummus is good) and how about cheese or yogurt?



answers from Honolulu on

they have one for kids.
it is a good source of calcium.

My daughter, HATES milk... and does not eat much dairy.
Her teeth suffers for the lack of calcium. Calcium, is one of the main building blocks for teeth formation. And for bones of course.
Her Dentist says she has to get more calcium.

I have tried TONS of different calcium brands.... and types.
The only one she likes, is the kids Tums.

Ask your Pediatrician, how many mg's of calcium she should get per day.

Tums... is calcium carbonate.
If you to their website, you can read about it.

"chocolate" milk... zero's out the benefits of calcium... because of all the sugar.

Not all kids multi-vitamins has calcium... you have to read the label.

For my daughter for her age, she needs 800 mg of calcium a day, or 2 cups of milk. Which even that is SO hard to get her to drink.

Or, go to your local natural food stores, and ask for samples. Then see if your daughter likes it. I did that too... but my daughter hated them all, even the "gummie" type calcium supplements for kids.

The fortified OJ juices, you have to read the label to see how much mg's of calcium there is in it.... I tried that too. But then my daughter drinks too much juice.
I tried yogurt too... but that is hit or miss too, with my daughter.
And although she likes broccoli, she gets bored eating it everyday... or does not want to consume the allotment of daily intake needed for her age.

good luck,

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