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How do I know if my child is getting enough calcium?

Cheryl Tallman
Nutrition & Dietetics
The fat and calcium found in breast milk, formula, and milk are essential for bone growth and brain development. While the requirement for fat reduces dramatically after two years old, the calcium requirement gradually increases through adolescence.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding your baby to 12 months old, and the World Health Organization recommends to two years old. If you decide to wean your baby at 12 months old, you should wean them to 16 to 24 ounces of whole milk (preferably in a cup) per day. If you wean your child at two years old, you wean them to 16 ounces of low-fat or nonfat milk (in a cup) per day. If your child is not being introduced to dairy products, it is very important that you introduce calcium-rich foods that will satisfy their calcium requirements.

If you were unable to or decided not to breastfeed, you should switch from formula to 16 to 24 ounces of whole milk per day when your child is 12 months old. If you have not already done so, this is also a good to transition from a bottle to a cup. At two years old, you switch from whole milk products to 16 ounces of low-fat or nonfat milk products per day.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.