- Calcium is an essential nutrient crucial in supporting our health at every age. Kids, like adults, need to consume enough calcium to ensure proper functioning of the body.
- Did you know that most Canadians do not consume enough calcium on a daily basis? Calcium is naturally present in large quantities in milk products.
- Incorporating milk, yogurt, and cheese into your cooking routine is a simple, and flavourful way of making sure you consume enough calcium. Let yourself get inspired by our delicious recipe ideas!
Make calcium a priority!
Calcium is known for its unique and vital contribution to building strong, healthy teeth and bones, but did you also know that it plays an essential role in the proper functioning of many of the body’s organs and systems? It’s therefore crucial to consume enough calcium at every age.
Unfortunately, according to the most recent national study led by Statistics Canada, the vast majority of Canadians do not consume enough calcium. This is the case for about three quarters of children aged 9 to 18, about half of adults aged 19 to 50, and over half of adults 50 plus.
A calcium deficiency often goes unrecognized because the level of calcium in our blood is rigorously controlled in order to ensure the proper functioning of various organs. If you do not consume enough calcium each day, your body will simply take the calcium it needs directly from your bones in order to maintain a constant level in your blood. Thus, over time, your bones will weaken and become more vulnerable to fractures. A lack of calcium in children can result in underdeveloped or weak bones.
Milk products: an important ally
Milk products are among the major food contributors of calcium. A single 250 mL (1 cup) serving of milk, 175 g (3/4 cup) serving of yogurt, or 50 g (1 ½ ounce) serving of cheese provides up to a third of an adult’s daily-recommended calcium intake. That’s crazy! And that also means that consuming approximately 3 servings of milk products every day makes fuelling your body with the calcium it needs, a breeze! Plus, the calcium found in milk products is easily absorbed by the body, unlike the calcium found in many plant-based foods, which may contain substances that hinder calcium’s absorption.
Milk, yogurt, and cheese are delicious on their own, but their versatility means you can incorporate them into many of your favourite recipes. For example, cook quinoa in milk instead of water, as in this recipe for quinoa Greek salad; make yogurt the star of the show by preparing this delicious roasted root vegetable yogurt bowl; or elevate your dessert game by adding cheese to sweet treats such as this fruit salad with Bocconcini and tarragon or this delicious fruit gratin.