Helpful advice on getting nutrient-rich food into non-dairy eating toddlers! –

Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium

Your toddler needs 500 milligrams of calcium per day. Here are some nondairy foods that are rich in calcium.



Green leafy vegetables like collard greens, turnip greens, kale and spinach



Almond Milk or Butter


Calcium-fortified cereals

Calcium-fortified soy milk

Calcium-fortified orange juice

Check labels on foods you already buy and choose those that have higher calcium levels. Vitamin C helps the body absorb calcium so combining foods rich in this vitamin with the foods above can give your toddler a calcium boost. And remember, even if your toddler shies away from green, leafy vegetables, you can always put a little spinach or kale in soup or spaghetti sauce a few minutes before serving. This makes it much more palatable — so much so, they hardly notice they’re eating something they refused the night before.

Non-Dairy Sources of Vitamin D

In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics revised its recommendations for Vitamin D from 200 IU to 400 IU. Even toddlers who are getting two cups of milk a day aren’t reaching this number, however. It would take four cups of milk to get the required amount. Too much milk can lead to problems with iron deficiency and obesity, however. So, even if your toddler is getting some milk, it’s a good idea to get the required vitamin D from food or a supplement. Some foods that are high in Vitamin D include:

Salmon, tuna, cod, mackerel, catfish and other fatty fish



Soy, rice or almond milks that are fortified with Vitamin D

Cereals that are fortified with Vitamin D

Also, make sure your toddler is getting about 5-30 minutes of sun exposure per week (all year if you live in the South or during summer months if you live up North) so his body can make its own Vitamin D.

Click Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium, Vitamin D and Fats – Getting Enough Calcium, Vitamin D and Fats for Toddlers Without Milk to read the full article.