Calcium Deficiency Causes , Symptoms & Treatments For Toddlers & Kids
Does your little one refuse to drink milk? Does your kid jerk the limbs or twitch uncontrollably? Do they suffer from convulsions? Perhaps; it’s a calcium deficiency. Calcium deficiency is quite common in babies, if not taken care they can be growing in toddlers and then in their adulthood. In majority of the cases changing their diet can solve the calcium deficiency problems.
When it comes to feeding babies, there aren’t many options. So, it becomes essential that you keep a tab on what you feed your baby, or what he/she consumes providing enough nutrients. One nutrient, which is extremely important for your baby’s development is calcium. A shortage of the nutrient can lead to serious health issues related to calcium deficiency.
Importance Of Calcium
Calcium is one of the most vital elements for babies and adults.
It is essential for healthy muscle functioning, nervous system, and heart. Calcium also helps develop bones and maintains bone mass in babies. During the first year of your baby’s life, the body mass increases hence; gains weight, followed by a rapid growth of the body.
Proper bone mass in adulthood is the result of proper calcium intake from infancy to adolescence.
Inadequate intake of calcium may primarily result in bone and teeth related issues in kids. You must have also heard about how calcium is the building block for bones and teeth. However, the fact is that most children still do not get the required dose of calcium in their diets leading to a variety of problems.
The Calcium Dosage In Toddlers & Kids
Children between the ages 1 to 3 years should consume a minimum of 700 mg of calcium each day. Kids between the ages 4 to 8 years should consume a minimum of 1000 mg of calcium each day.
Children between the ages 9 to 18 years should consume a minimum of 1300 mg of calcium each day. In addition to calcium active intake of 600 IU of Vitamin D is also required so that the calcium can be properly absorbed into the bloodstream.
The Role Of Calcium In Our Body?
Bones are constantly growing, breaking down and rebuilding; even more so in childhood. Calcium is needed for the repair process, it helps the bone to rebuild properly and stay strong. But Calcium is not the only nutrient involved; did you know that for calcium to build strong, healthy bones, it needs three other key nutrients; vitamin D3, magnesium and vitamin K2?
The vitamin is activated in the body through exposure to sunlight and is best known for its ability to stimulate the absorption of calcium.
It has an interactive, mutually beneficial relationship with calcium. It also helps to counterbalance the high levels of calcium that can accumulate in the body.
It is difficult to obtain in adequate amounts from diet alone but is essential for the activation of the bone protein hormone; osteocalcin, which is responsible for binding calcium to the bone, optimising the bone building process. Children commonly have a much greater ratio of inactive to active osteocalcin, so require higher levels of vitamin K2.
Symptoms Of Calcium Deficiency
- If your kid is complaining about the body aches and cramps regularly, do not neglect him or her as it is among the most visible signs of Calcium deficiency.
- The yellowish or pale teeth say it all. The lack of calcium causes brittle teeth with changed colour. It makes the teeth weak. There are many calcium supplements for kids which can overcome it and make the teeth stronger.
- Observe the nails and skin of your children. The white stains on the nails, weak hairs, dry and tight skin are some more signs of calcium deficiency.
- If the toddler or young kid is not showing interest in the food you have prepared, it may be indicating the issue. Poor appetite can cause several other problems too.
Problems Because Of Calcium Deficiency In Your Kids
- Tooth decay is the most common problem which kids face due to the lack of calcium. Damaged teeth, tooth pain, change in colour of teeth, and weak teeth are its consequences.
- The weakened bones are more prior to the fracture. The kids may get frequent fractures if lacks the calcium in their bodies.
- The extreme effect of insufficiency forms rickets in children. Rickets is the disease which weakens, softens and deforms the bones. The Vitamin D and calcium are necessary to prevent it from causing.
- Deficiency of calcium will ultimately lead to less development in body height.
- Calcium also makes the nails and hairs weak. Brittle nails and damaged hairs are the issues caused due to it.
Treating Calcium Deficiency Through Diet
The Child should eat dairy products in their daily diet. Milk is the best source of calcium. Daily consumption of cheese, butter, curd, yogurt and milk reduces and almost ends the chances of any calcium deficiency so these can be considered as the excellent calcium supplements for kids.
Some such foods are finger millet, leafy green veggies such as spinach, celery, and fenugreek. The calcium rich foods must be part of the daily diet to avoid its shortage.
• Dairy: Milk Is the richest source of Calcium, Cheese, Yogurt, cottage cheese
• Soy milk – Tofu
• Sardines and Salmon
• Blackstrap Molasses
• Lentils: Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans, Pinto Beans, Black Eyed Peas
• Green Leafy Vegetables
• Calcium Rich Fruits
• Dry Fruits
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