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How much calcium should I have each day?
 

 

The National Academy of Sciences, Food and Nutrition Board - Dietary Reference Intakes recommend the following daily intakes of calcium:

1-3 year olds
700 mg
4-8 year olds
1000 mg
9-18 year olds
1300 mg
Adults 19-50 years of age
Men over 51 years of age
1000 mg
Females over 51 years of age
Men over 70 years of age
1200 mg

Calcium is particularly important during childhood and adolescence when maximal bone growth and development takes place. Adequate intakes of calcium as well as vitamin D throughout life plays an important role in building and maintaining strong bones and protecting against osteoporosis later in life.

Milk products offer an easily absorbed source of calcium and can help individuals satisfy their calcium requirements. Canada's Food Guide recommends two servings of Milk and Alternatives each day for children up to 8 years and adults 19 to 50 years of age; 3-4 servings per day for children 9 to 18 years of age; 3 servings a day for adults over 51 years of age.

 

Calcium content (mg) of various foods

Beverages (per 1 cup, 250 ml)

Whole milk: 308
Partly skimmed 2% milk: 314
Partly skimmed 1 % milk: 317
Skim milk: 320
Buttermilk: 303
Chocolate, partly skimmed 2% milk: 301
Evaporated, partly skimmed 2% milk, undiluted: 737
Evaporated, skim milk, undiluted: 782
Soy beverage fortified with calcium: 318

Cheese

Cheddar cheese (2 oz, 52 g): 378
Processed cheese (2 slices, 42 g): 239
Feta cheese (1/4 cup, 60 ml): 202
Cheese, cottage 2% (1/2 cup, 125 ml): 83
Minigo™ fresh cheese with fruit (60 g): 110
Petite Danone™ fresh cheese with fruit (60 g): 110

Yogurt

Fruit bottom yogurt containing <1% milk fat (3/4 cup, 175 g): 281
Fruit bottom yogurt containing 1-2% milk fat (3/4 cup, 175 g): 214
Plain yogurt containing 1-2 % milk fat (3/4 cup, 175g): 320
Yogurt containing >4% milk fat (3/4 cup, 175g): 264
Yoplait Tubes™ stirred yogurt (60 g): 61
Yoplait Caresse + Calcium ™ (100g): 196
Yoplait Yop™ yogurt drink (200g): 193
Liberty Bora Bora ™ Drinkable yogurt (1/2 cup, 125 ml): 128

Pudding

Chocolate, ready to eat (1/2 cup, 125 ml): 124
Vanilla, ready to eat (1/2 cup, 125 ml): 105
Tapioca, ready-to-eat (1/2 cup, 125 ml): 116
Egg custard, from mix made with 2% milk (1/2 cup, 125 ml): 208

Fruit

Figs, dried, uncooked (10): 269
Orange (1): 52
Prunes, dried, uncooked (10): 43

Vegetables

Broccoli, cooked (1/2 cup, 125 ml): 50
Bok choy, cooked (1/2 cup, 125 ml): 84
Kale, cooked (1/2 cup, 125 ml): 49
Potatoes, scalloped (1/2 cup, 125 ml): 74
Turnip greens, cooked (1/2 cup, 125 ml): 104

Nuts, Seeds, Beans and Tofu

Sesame seeds (1 tbsp, 15 ml): 89
Almonds, dry roasted (1/4 cup, 60 ml): 103
Baked beans, canned (1 cup, 250 ml): 134
White beans, canned (1 cup, 250 ml): 202
Soybeans, dry, boiled (1 cup, 250 ml): 185
Tofu, firm (3 ounces, 80 g): 164
Tofu, regular (3 ounces, 80 g): 121

Fish and shellfish

Clams, canned (1/2 cup, 125 ml): 57
Oysters, canned (1/2 cup, 125 ml): 59
Sardines, canned (4): 183
Salmon, canned with bones (1/2 cup, 125 ml): 181

Soup

Clam chowder, New England (1 cup, 250 ml): 201
Soup, cream of chicken made with 2% milk (1 cup, 250 ml): 193
Soup, cream of mushroom made with 2% milk (1 cup, 250 ml): 192
Soup, cream of tomato made with 2% milk (1 cup, 250 ml): 172


* Data from Health Canada and product labels.

The information provided in this FAQ is not meant to replace medical advice or treatment. Individuals seeking individual nutrition advice should contact a Registered Dietitian. To find a dietitian in your community click on nutrition advice.