Juvenile Bone Health Kids and Their Bones: A Guide for Parents

How Can I Persuade My Daughter to Drink Milk Instead of Diet Soda? She Thinks Milk Will Make Her Fat.

Soft drinks tend to displace calcium-rich beverages in the diets of many children and adolescents. In fact, research has shown that girls who drink soft drinks consume much less calcium than those who do not.

It's important for your daughter to know that good sources of calcium don't have to be fattening. Skim milk, low-fat cheeses and yogurt, calcium-fortified juices and cereals, and green leafy vegetables can all fit easily into a healthy, low-fat diet. Replacing even one soda each day with milk or a milk-based fruit smoothie can significantly increase her calcium intake.

Table shows selected food sources of calcium
Food Calcium (mg) Daily Value (%)
Sardines, canned in oil, with bones, 3 oz. 324 32
Cheddar cheese, 1½ oz., shredded 306 31
Milk, nonfat, 8 fl oz. 30230
Yogurt, plain, low fat, 8 oz. 30030
Milk, reduced fat (2% milk fat), no solids, 8 fl oz. 29730
Milk, whole (3.25% milk fat), 8 fl oz. 291 29
Milk, buttermilk, 8 fl oz. 28529
Milk, lactose reduced, 8 fl oz.
(content varies slightly according to fat content; average = 300 mg)
285 to 30229 to 30
Cottage cheese, 1% milk fat, 2 cups unpacked 27628
Mozzarella, part skim, 1½ oz. 27528
Tofu, firm, with calcium, ½ cup* 20420
Orange juice, calcium fortified, 6 fl oz. 200 to 26020 to 26
Salmon, pink, canned, solids with bone, 3 oz. 18118
Pudding, chocolate, instant, made with 2% milk, ½ cup 153 15
Tofu, soft, with calcium, ½ cup*138 14
Breakfast drink, orange flavor, powder prepared with water, 8 fl oz. 133 13
Frozen yogurt, vanilla, soft serve, ½ cup 103 10
Ready to eat cereal, calcium fortified, 1 cup 100 to 1000 10 to 100
Turnip greens, boiled, ½ cup 99 10
Kale, raw, 1 cup 90 9
Kale, cooked, 1 cup 949
Ice cream, vanilla, ½ cup 85 8.5
Soy beverage, calcium fortified, 8 fl oz. 80 to 5008 to 50
Chinese cabbage, raw, 1 cup 74 7
Tortilla, corn, ready to bake/fry, 1 medium 42 4
Tortilla, flour, ready to bake/fry, one 6" diameter 374
Sour cream, reduced fat, cultured, 2 tbsp 32 3
Bread, white, 1 oz. 313
Broccoli, raw, ½ cup 21 2
Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice 202
Cheese, cream, regular, 1 tbsp 121
Source: Heaney et al. 2000; USDA 2002.
*Calcium values are only for tofu processed with a calcium salt. Tofu processed with a noncalcium salt will not contain significant amounts of calcium.

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