I get a lot of people asking me for different ways to get calcium into their children, especially when they have stopped drinking milk or purely don’t like milk. Both my kids are milk monsters and would happily drink milk all day long if they could but I do still try to give them calcium rich meals as often as I can. As you know The Boy is rather fussy when it comes to his food so although I know dark green leafy vegetables are high in calcium this just doesn’t work for him as he would never touch anything like spinach. He occasionally eats broccoli so I do try to incorporate that wherever I can. Here are some ideas of calcium rich meals that are so easy and quick to make and taste yummy. The kids will never even know they are good for them!!
Note: Any of the following recipes and ideas can be made with dairy alternatives if your child is allergic to milk / dairy.
These biscuits were a huge hit when I originally posted them and a huge hit with both my kids. They don’t taste of cauliflower at all so The Boy had no clue he was eating any kind of veg. They are packed with cheese too so are a tasty calcium rich treat. You could also use some finely chopped spinach or broccoli too with the cauliflower if your child (unlike mine) doesn’t mind green stuff.
Mash with “White Fish and Cheese”:
This is one of The Boy’s favourite meals although he would never touch a piece of fish if it wasn’t mashed into potato. I buy ready frozen cod fillets for ease as they take 3 minutes to cook in the microwave. You can also use fresh fish too by the way but I am lazy! Once the fish is cooked I simply mix it into some mashed potato (I just microwave a jacket potato for 6-8 minutes depending on its size then scoop out the flesh). I then add some grated cheese, butter and milk and you have a kind of deconstructed fish pie. For Little Lady I add in peas, corn or spinach but for The Boy I just leave it without veg or sometimes add in some mashed up cauliflower too.
This recipe for rice pudding is so delicious and I have received such lovely comments from people who have made it. The fact that you can also make it into little hand held cakes too just makes it even better. It’s a tasty and (sugar free) sweet way to get lots of milk into your little ones.
Mashed potato with cream cheese and spinach
This is a favourite of Little Lady and with the cream cheese and spinach it is packed full of dairy and iron – perfect for little ones or when they aren’t feeling well but you want them to still have a balanced meal. Using potato and cheese as your base you really can add in anything to it and it’s generally very tasty.
Yes I know its winter here in the UK at the moment but my children still like ice lollies and ice cream for their dessert occasionally. Back in the summer I posted some recipes for healthy homemade ice lollies and most of them are made with milk or yoghurt so they are a tasty calcium filled treat.
Potato and Parsnip Pie:
I saw this recipe on a website ages ago and thought I would give it a go with the kids. I did my usual tweaks here and there and in all honesty The Boy ate a few mouthfuls and then decided he wouldn’t eat it but Little Lady ate loads of it.
1 Large Baking potato
1 – 2 Parsnips (depending on your child’s palate)
Any other root vegetable you like can also be added – I sometimes replace 1 parsnip with 1 carrot and it works nicely.
A small carton of single cream (about 250-300ml)
A handful of grated cheese
1/2 clove crushed garlic
Peel and thinly slice the potatoes and the parsnips (and / or the other root veg) and cook them for about 10-15 minutes in a pan of water until soft. Pour the cream into a saucepan and add the garlic. Add the veg and leave to simmer and thicken. If it gets too thick then add some milk to thin it out. Pour it all into an oven safe dish and sprinkle the cheese on top and put it under a medium grill for a few minutes. You can also add some breadcrumbs to the top if you like to make it crispy. Some tinned tuna mixed in with the creamy potato mixture also tastes yummy.
Here are some other ways to get increase your child’s calcium intake:
- Add grated cheese to vegetables or pasta meals.
- Try cooking some frozen chopped spinach in the microwave then mixing it with cream cheese and serving with some pasta or couscous
- Use cream cheese in place of butter in sandwiches or on toast
- Add chia seeds to your baking
- Include as many green leafy veg to dishes (if your child eats them)
- Offer healthy calcium-fortified foods, including orange juice, soy products and bread.