Calcium is a mineral essential for child growth and health . However, more and more young people are showing deficiencies.
What are the consequences of a lack of calcium in children ? Food, food supplements, how to prevent such a risk to your health?
What is the relationship between calcium and health in young people?
What is the role of calcium in the body?
Calcium (Ca) is one of the minerals essential for good health, at all ages.
It is even the one that is most present in the human body since it represents up to 1.2 kg of the total mass. This mineral is involved in a large number of essential functions such as the conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, the strength of the skeleton, the release of certain hormones and even blood coagulation.
Why is calcium important during growth?
A child's daily calcium needs must be met. Indeed, at this period of life, this mineral is mainly used by the body to build bones. It is used both for their growth, but also for their solidity.
This solidity of the skeleton is essential to avoid certain pathologies in adulthood. It is in fact during the first 20 years of life that the “bone capital” of each individual is built up.
A calcium deficiency during youth can be the cause of greater decalcification from the age of 30.
In seniors, it leads to an increased risk of bone fragility due to a reduction in bone density (osteoporosis).
Calcium deficiency: increasingly common in children
Calcium (Ca) is a mineral essential for everyone's good health. This is especially true during growth.
However, more and more children are not meeting their daily needs.
What are the calcium requirements during growth?
ANSES, the National Food Safety Agency, is currently carrying out a reassessment of the daily calcium needs of young people . The ANC (Recommended Nutritional Intakes) are currently:
- 500 mg for infants aged 2 and over;
- 700 mg between 4 and 6 years old;
- 900 mg between 6 and 9 years old;
- 1200 mg between 9 and 19 years old.
These different nutritional references will in all likelihood be revised upwards.
Lack of calcium in children: a growing health problem
The Research Center for the Study and Observation of Living Conditions (CREDOC) carried out a study on a representative sample of children between 2010 and 2016.
The results of this study highlight that daily calcium intakes are not covered for:
- 20% of children in the 3-5 year old age group, compared to 4% previously;
- 45% of 6-9 year olds compared to 33%;
The diet in question
The human body is not capable of synthesizing calcium . The only possible source is therefore through food.
For a very long time, the medical profession and public services have praised the benefits of dairy products very rich in Ca. But in recent years, the eating habits of the French have changed.
Less milk, but also fewer vegetables and many more processed products on our plates. In fact, the quantity of calcium ingested by younger generations tends to be lower than the recommended nutritional intakes.
What foods are naturally rich in calcium?
All foods contain calcium. However, some of them have higher concentrations such as (per 100 g):
cheese and dairy products: pressed cheeses such as Comté, Emmental or Gruyère are the richest with an average content of 1000 mg. Other cheeses also contain between 600 mg and 800 mg, as is the case with Bleu d'Auvergne, Saint-Nectaire and Reblochon de Savoie.
milk: this inexpensive food is rich in calcium. That of sheep is by far the most interesting with 195 mg, far ahead of that of goat (125 mg) or cow (120 mg). However, it is the latter which is generally consumed because it is less powerful in taste and easily available everywhere;
fermented dairy products such as yogurt, cottage cheese or buttermilk (from our Breton friends!) are logically also important sources of calcium;
- certain spices such as thyme (1250 mg) or cinnamon (1090 mg);
- canned or fresh sardines : 400 mg. Consumption of sardines also covers a large part of the daily intake of vitamin D and omega 3;
- almonds : 250 mg
- leafy vegetables like green cabbage or spinach. The latter contain 168 mg;
- water : can be an important source of calcium, present in very variable quantities from one origin to another. The average content is around 150 ml per liter. Some marketed waters have concentrations up to three times higher: look at the labels. For tap water: consult your municipality's website on this subject, the calcium content of the water must appear there, (otherwise contact the competent service!). It is important to estimate the daily calcium intake linked to drinking water.
- fruits all contain calcium . However, some are richer such as orange (43 mg), kiwi (34 mg) or tangerines (30 mg).
It is essential to estimate the child's overall daily calcium consumption and relate it to the needs of his or her age (see above). If necessary, do not hesitate to consult a nutrition professional to carry out this assessment and make the necessary corrections.
Vega Kid: a specific food supplement for children
In theory, you now know how to provide your child with enough Calcium through their diet, whether classic with dairy or plant-based.
In practice, you already know the reception that could be given to spinach and cabbage. It is not so easy to respect this daily balance, especially in young children because the quantitative needs for calcium are high while their appetite often remains weak and variable...
This situation corresponds well to what is observed by the CREDOC study: a significant proportion of children lack calcium.
It is to provide a solution to these critical situations from a very young age (1 year) that we designed V ega Kid . This food supplement is specifically formulated to secure your child's micronutrition from the age of one until the end of their growth.
VegaKid contains the most important micronutrients for growth including calcium but also vitamin B12 , Iodine , Vitamins D and E, zinc. .).
Depending on age, one to two capsules of the Vega Kid children's food supplement provide 175 to 350 mg of Calcium. A sufficient quantity alongside a balanced diet to cover your daily Calcium needs. And with this, there is no risk of deficiency in growing, but also strong bones for life.