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Calcium: It’s Not Just for Kids

calcium food products

Eating foods rich in calcium is important for building healthy bones and teeth during childhood and the teen years

Yogurt, milk, and soy milk also have potassium, which helps maintain a healthy blood pressure. Almost all milk and many yogurts have vitamin D added, which helps your body absorb calcium from your food.


Choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products that are also low in sugar

The following foods have about the same amount of calcium and other nutrients as 1 cup (8 oz) of milk:

  • 1 cup calcium-fortified soy milk
  • 1 cup (8 oz) yogurt
  • 2 slices (1½ oz) hard cheese such as cheddar or swiss
  • 3 slices (2 oz) processed cheese like American
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 cup pudding made with milk
  • 1 cup frozen yogurt


What about cream cheese?

Cream cheese, cream, and butter have little or no calcium, so they aren’t counted as part of the dairy group.


Easy tips for adding calcium-rich foods each day

  • Make a delicious smoothie with low-fat milk, fruit, and ice cubes for a snack breakfast.
  • Pack a carton of low-fat milk with lunch instead of a sugary drink.
  • Sprinkle reduced-fat cheese on a casserole or on top of vegetables at dinner.
  • Substitute plain low-fat yogurt for mayonnaise in your tuna, chicken, or egg salad sandwich.
  • Dip baby carrots in a dip made with fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt


To find out how much food from the dairy group is needed daily for each age group, visit