Toddlers aged 1-3 years need 700 mg of calcium per day, and 4-year-olds need 1,000 mg each day, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
Calcium is needed for bone growth and teeth development, something that is ongoing throughout childhood. If young children don’t get enough calcium (and vitamin D), they are at increased risk of rickets, a disease that causes softening of the bone which can cause bowing of the legs and poor growth.
To make sure your toddler gets enough calcium, offer milk and other foods made from milk like yogurt and cheese; calcium-fortified tofu; calcium-fortified orange juice; whole grain bread; collard greens; cooked spinach; and calcium-fortified cereals and soy milk.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, September 2020