Children & Teens
From birth to adolescence, children need the mineral calcium to help ensure their future bone health. During these formative years, the body uses calcium to build strong bones. By young adulthood, bone calcium is beginning to decrease, and progressive bone loss continues as we age.
Young teenagers develop about a third of their bone mass during adolescence, so vitamin D intake (to aid calcium absorption) is also critical. But the diets of many adolescents (and children aged 4-8 years) do not provide adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D.*
How Much Does My Child Need?
For optimal bone health, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends:
- 1 to 3 years old - 700 milligrams of calcium daily
- 4 to 8 years old - 1,000 milligrams daily
- 9 to 18 years old - 1,300 milligrams daily
Children from 1 to 18 years old should also intake 600 IU of vitamin D daily, to aid in calcium absorption. Without vitamin D (difficult to obtain from diet and sunlight alone), it can be a challenge to make sure your little one is properly benefiting from calcium.
Maximizing bone mass early in life helps reduce bone loss and may reduce risk of osteoporosis.