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Any ideas for sources of calcium for toddler's packed lunch?

(21 Posts)
mamaonion Thu 21-Mar-13 20:54:59

Ok been abit geeky - dug out my calcium guidelines from dietician. 1-3 yr old needs 350mg a day. 1 200ml glass milk is 240mg, 30 g cheddar provides 240mg, 125 ml yoghurt provides 200 mg. So if you consider daily calcium intake glass of milk and yoghurt more thSn covers it. Other sources include dried figs, sunflower/sesame seeds (I tbs-85mg), oranges (75 mg in medium orange) and other things mentioned above.

mamaonion Thu 21-Mar-13 20:27:50

Calcium is found in green veg, sardines, (not exactly easy as finger food as I tried with my ds who is dairy allergic-messy indeed) snd I seem up recall dried fruits (but not certain and can't check tight now) There are lots of fortified products if a child is really low on calcium in their diet, like soya products, cheerios, certain sliced breads, but if she has plenty of milk and green veg at other times of day, I wouldn't worry. From my dealings with dieticians and nutritionists it is more helpful to consider diet over a day or even a few days-children can't get every good group they need in every meal.

As for the cheese I'm pretty skinny adult, often when I'm really hungry and on the go I reach for.... A lovely lump of cheddar to tide me over for a few minutes... Ha ha maybe I have wierd eating habits! But I am proof that eating slabs of cheese won't make you obese.

HuevosRancheros Wed 20-Mar-13 11:10:17

"They" say that a portion is equal to the size of the child's palm. So that's not really that much cheese, is it?

What about a carton of milk?

sharond101 Tue 19-Mar-13 22:15:26

you could make up custard and fruit pots in small tupperware dishes, some stewed fruit on the bottom and custard on top.

Drladybird Tue 19-Mar-13 13:06:58

If you are happy to do a bit of cooking/ preparation, you could make a tofu based mousse such as this chocolate and prune mousse. My toddler loves it and it contains lots of good things, including calcium. It is easy to make and can be frozen in small portions to then put into a lunch box.

Otherwise, like Horace suggests, you can use greek yoghurt to make up some kind of yoghurt/ fool pudding. This wild apricot fool always goes down well and is only sweetened with apricots.

I also found out that rhubarb contains calcium so you could cook that up in some way (although needs a hefty sweetener to counter the sharpness).

trixymalixy Tue 19-Mar-13 03:53:33

Broccoli and tahini are good non dairy sources of calcium. So you could send some broccoli florets and humous to dip them in.

sashh Tue 19-Mar-13 03:16:33

Cathedral City do individual cheese portions, I think a bit smaller than baby bell.

What about milk or a milkshake?

Some fish is high in calcium - sardines are one.

Nuts (if nursery allow).

Greek yogurt sounds lovely as it tends to be a bit less sharp than other natural yogurts and I can eat lots too. Are any fruit purées particularly sweet other than pear as Horrace suggested above? I am going to try her on Philadelphia as it sounds like a good way to get her eating veg sticks which she will eat at nursery but won't eat at home.

wannabeEostregoddess Tue 19-Mar-13 00:15:20

You could buy little yoghurt sized pots of ambrosia, custard or rice pudding.

Yoghurt with fruit puree would be really nice. Even if she finds it not sweet enough its a good thing to encourage. Again, has to be full fat.

Veg sticks with some philadelphia for dipping?

I don't give her much uncooked cheese, other than that I eat everything and offer her everything I eat. It wouldn't really occur to me to feed her uncooked cheese as I don't eat it, but I do need to give her packed lunches and the guidance we were given says it should contain a source of calcium. She has cheese on pizza and pasta as part of hot meals at home. She doesn't have an adult diet at present as she is fed a lot if meals at nursery and we have plenty of food at home that is a bit unhealthy from an adult's pov but is fine for a toddler. Obviously she gets milk and yogurt too. At nursery she has puddings which include milk in custard or as rice pudding, but I can't think of anything for a cold packed lunch that is similar to these alternative sources of calcium.

wannabeEostregoddess Mon 18-Mar-13 23:46:05

You appear to be letting your food worries affect what you feed her. She will pick up on that. She really will.

colditz Mon 18-Mar-13 23:42:39

She needs an energy dense diet, she is a toddler.

I know you say you don't have food issues but did you know that toddlers need a different type of diet to adults? It needs to be higher in fat and lower in fibre than an adult's diet. A chunk of cheese the size of a baby bel is not excessive. Toddlers need saturated fat for brain development. They actually NEED cholesterol. Cheese is an awful choice for middle aged men, but a very very good one for toddlers.

Honestly I am not hysterical about food, I just have a personal aversion to cheese and I am aware that portion size needs to be carefully considered when it comes to cheese as it is an energy dense food. I was just wondering if I have missed any other foods which are a good source of calcium and suitable for a lunchbox.

colditz Mon 18-Mar-13 23:25:44

Stop freaking out about fat! Toddlers really need fat. Kids get fat because of lack of exercise, not because of cheese.

wannabeEostregoddess Mon 18-Mar-13 23:24:35

Cheese in a childs lunchbox does nor equal obese adult.

I mean this in the nicest way, you sound a bit hysterical about food. IME food issues are the cause of obesity and not the food itself.

Cheese in moderation is not just a block of fat. Anything in moderation wont make you fat.

I'll have to try her on different cheese then, I know she likes cheddar and doesn't like babybel.

Babybel, 2 normal slices of cheddar/edam/emmenthal, dairy lea triangle/spoon of philly in a little tub with veg sticks. I wouldn't stick it in with a cheese sandwich, but would consider it fine with any other filling.

Skyebluesapphire Mon 18-Mar-13 22:35:52

DD has a small cheese sandwich every day, a Cheese Twirler and a squeezable fromage frais pouch or tube, along with a banana, grapes, strawberries etc.

cheese is the only thing that she will eat in a sandwich and she insists on the cheesestring too

Would you actually put a lump of cheese in a packed lunch in addition to a normal sandwich? How much cheese would you put in? I don't like cheese myself and understand it to be full of salt and fat and I am not keen for DD to develop a cheese habit as I think it is quite an easy way to become an overweight adult.

Greek yogurt with pureed pear. Not at all sour, I love it.

Don't really see the issue with cheese though tbh.

DD will need to have a packed lunch every day soon. The nursery has given us a leaflet which suggests 1 carb, 1 protein, at least 1 veg/fruit and 1 source of calcium.

Obviously I can give her cheese in a sandwich or on its own or a yogurt. I am not a big fan of giving her cheese regularly due to the high fat content (I know toddlers need fat, but cheese seems like a big block of fat to me) and yogurts are generally quite sweet, though I doubt that I could persuade her to eat natural yogurt with fruit as it would be a bit sour and I should have started her this way rather than on Petit Filous and then take them away.

Does anyone have any other ideas or will I just have to alternate cheese and yogurt?

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