Toddler Refuses milk...need a Calcium Supplement Recommendation

Updated on August 30, 2011
S.Y. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
14 answers

My 17 month old dd will NOT drink milk, or have cereal with milk in it, cheese, etc. Not even fortified OJ (she won't drink juice, either, but I'm okay with that). She will eat one Yobaby yogurt a day but that only satisfies 20% of her RDA of calcium.

What is a good supplement that can effectively get her the 500 mg that she needs? I would love one that is not necessarily "mainstream" (something from the internet or Wholefoods) but I am willing to look into anything.

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answers from Allentown on

I've yet to meet a vegan who has suffered due to lack of dairy ... there are plenty of foods with high levels of calcium. (If you do soy, I know that Silk products are comparable to regular milk, in terms of vitamins, calcium, etcetera, but there are TONS of non-soy milk alternatives that are also fortified - and who knows, maybe she'd like a chocolate or carob version?) But - think outside the box -- tempeh, blackstrap molasses and dark, leafy greens (think turnip greens, spinach, kale, collard, chinese cabbage, mustard greens, etc), as well as cooked soybeans and okra are all good sources of calcium as well. Other decent sources (not as high) include broccoli (my daughter LOVES steamed broccoli), almonds, almond butter, tahini ...

Good luck to you in your search for a well-balanced diet that helps to provide calcium from alternative sources!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hey S.,
I know this is not what you were looking for, but Tyler would never drink plain milk either. However he does LOVE Horizon small cartons of Vanilla & Strawberry. Not so much the chocolate.
We always called it "moo" so he would think it was something other than milk. He first tried it at Starbucks and was hooked. You can even dilute it 1/2 and 1/2 with regular milk if you want to. Easy to keep on hand & it lasts a long time. 10/$10 at Giant Eagle, usually.

OH! I had O. other thought. My son has become really fond of frozen yogurt smoothies. I use vanilla frozen yogurt PLUS a flavored yogurt and milk to make a yogurt shake for him. She might like that.... In the warmer months you can cheaply add real fruits (strawberries, peaches, mango, etc.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi S.,

Will your toddler eat green veges? That is the best way to get calcium. I used to give my son those gummy bear supplements (they have a calcium one), but then I decided they were too much like candy. I haven't found a good replacement. I do give him a multivitakmin from Shaklee that I really like. But I haven't found a good calcium supplement.

I also wanted to say "CONGRATS" on your pregnancy!! I am so thrilled for you!!

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answers from Allentown on

She may be more prone to a dairy allergie & is trying to protect herself from exposure. I've heard of that happening a lot.

You can try Goats Milk (preferably raw, but it doesn't have to be) because it's less likely to cause a reaction & it's MUCH more similar in make up to human milk.

You can also try Kefir, which is a smoothie-like drink that's a probiotic. My son will ONLY drink a cup of about 3/4 goat milk & 1/4 kefir (or maybe a little more).

You can also try rice milk, soy milk and/or hemp milk.

Don't forget that there's also lots of other places to get calcium--like dark, leafy green veggies. Plus, if you're nursing at all, she'll get quite a lot of it from your milk.

Lastly, I believe that Animal Parade makes a calcium supplement for kids which is whole-foods based. I think you can get it at

Hope that helps some!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

try freezing the yogurt. she might eat more of it if its like icecream. make broccoli cheese soup. its always a winner

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hey Suz-
You should have called me! I had a nutricionist come to the house for a year for the very same reason. Violet wouldnt drink her milk. I can suggest Orange Juice gives you more calcium than other other source 1 cup = 350 mg. Milk has 1 cup =300 mg.White beans 1/2 cup =113 mg. Instant Oatmeal 1 cup has 100 mg Broccoli cooked has 1/2 cup has 35 mg.Cheddar Cheese 1.5 oz has 300 mg. Yoogurt low fat 8 oz =300 mg.
1 orange medium has 40-45 mg. and Sweet potatoes mashed 1/2 cup =44 mg.

Things you might want to look for in the grocery store are
Golden Grahams cereral-350 mg per 3/4 cup
calicium fortified soy milk 300 mg per cup
Iron Kids bread 160 mg per slice
yoo-hoo chocolate drink 250 mg per 8 oz
danimals low fat yogurt 150 mg per cup
honey grahams crakers (look for the ones that say calcium)
150 mg in 2 crackers
quaker fruit and oatmeal bites 200 mg per serving
nestle carnation instant breakfast mix adds 250 of calcium to a glass boosting its contents to 500 mg!

pudding 1/2 cup is 133 mg
ice cream 1 cup is 176 mg
american cheese 1 oz is 174 mg

Or you can go to

if you need me to send you the info with this info as well as calcium rich recipes that I have please call or e-mail me your adress and I would be happy to send it to you since I dont use it anymore. Violet is good now with milk.

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answers from Sharon on

We had a really hard time weaning my son onto whole milk. He was eating less nursing but would totally refuse milk. We tried everything and he started to get really lethargic and stopped playing. After that I went out and bought some nesquick powder and made chocolate milk! It is fortified with extra calcium and has less sugar than chocolate syrup. He gulped it right down and got right back to his old self. I have since spoke to a nutritionist and they said I did the right thing under the circumstances.
He now drinks his recommended amount of milk each day and gets enough calcium.



answers from Pittsburgh on

My son has a milk allergy and drinks the Silk Very Vanilla flavor. It is in a purple container and is fortified with extra vitamins for kids. I also mix in Carnation Instant Breakfast Essential, which also has extra vitamins and such in it. My son does not eat well so this gives him some extra nutrients that he would not otherwise get. Hope this helps.



answers from Boston on

Try Nutrilite children's supplements. It has all the vitamins and minerals that are made with 100% natural ingredients.


answers from Williamsport on

Hey, S.!
I'm doing some research on this for my friend too, I don't know yet. You have gotten some awesome info and responses I'm going to use.
I almost had to take my doctor's orders to take my daughter off milk because she had bad eczema as soon as I stopped nursing and gave her milk.
I didn't (luckily, it passed six months later even with milk still in her diet) because I couldn't figure out any way to replace that much calcium AND D and nutrients and protein and MOST of all the essential fat for brain development. I'm not sure how well supplements and enriching soy etc actually works since they're engineered and not directly from a food source. (I'm no doctor, or nutrition specialist, I just don't always believe labels). Some veggies have calcium, but its not easy to feed a baby more than a few servings of veggies a day-and veggies don't have the fat.

Now they're finding out that lactose intolerance is highly over diagnosed and lots of kids are lacking the fats etc in milk that they need for their brains. If your daughter has a healthy diet, there is not a whole lot of other good fat to compensate. Vegans would disagree, so maybe check their sites on baby nutrition, but don't forget the fat, not just the calcium!

My friend's son is truly allergic, so we're looking for replacements, I'll keep you posted, but until you're confident you've found all the replacements-TRY really hard to get her drink her milk! Or eat even more yogurt per day, smoothies etc. Maybe there is an organic un-sugary way to flavor some milk..cheese raviolis...parmesan is high in sure to get plenty of olive oil, nuts, avocado and other natural fats in there! Would you be able to smuggle fish oil into the picture? Not easy, I've tried. Good luck!



answers from Philadelphia on

check w/your pediatrician before starting any supplements, some seemingly harmless supplements can be dangerous.
Also, as another poster said kids don't actually need milk. There are veggies that can provide calcium.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, S.,

I have the same problem about the milk with my 14 month old. The pediatricians won't give me any helpful advice. I had low millk suplly at birth but my toddler stopped wanting any supplemental formula at 2 months, and have tried all kinds of milk and calcium rich foods. I got this supplement (Child Life Calcium) through Amazon but the guidelines for a toddler are far below the 500 that are needed: I'm wondering whether I can give more. Please pm me if you found a better suggestion since your post. Thank you.



answers from Philadelphia on

try some soy milk. they have vanilla flavor out there. my son did not want a bottle after he was seven months old so we formula and soy milk till he was a year old. he now drinks the soy milk and he likes it. try other types of yogurt like dannon with fruit on the bottom. the yo baby is very expensive. try cheese sticks and see if she likes that. if you have further concerns talk to the pediatrician.



answers from Scranton on

Believe it or not toddlers don't need milk. There are many healthy foods out there that will give them their daily allowances. They can get all the vitamin D they need by going out into the sun for 20mins or more every day.

Check out this site has a lot of great info on it about natural parenting

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