When we think of calcium we think of milk. Milk and dairy foods (yoghurt and cheese) are the best foods to eat/drink to ensure you get enough calcium every day. Calcium is needed for the development of normal bones – really important now that you are growing a new baby!
It is recommend that we take 3 servings of dairy foods each day to get enough calcium and it is extra important to try to reach this requirement while you are expecting. It’s also a good idea to choose low fat products – half the fat (or less) but the same amount of calcium which is good news for your bones.
What counts as one serving?
- 1 cup of milk
- ¾ cup of natural/fruit yoghurt
- ¾ cup of pouring yoghurt
- 1 cup yoghurt drink
- 1 matchbox size piece of cheese
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup rice pudding (made with low fat milk)
- ¾ cup custard (made with low fat milk)
- 1 cup semolina (made with low fat milk)
Remember that if you cook with milk or cheese the calcium is still there so cheese sauce, melted cheese on toast, milk added to your tea or coffee and milk on your cereal in the morning all count towards your daily intake.
So if you start the day with a high fibre breakfast cereal with low fat milk (1), snack on a low fat yoghurt with some chopped fruit at 11am (2), include cheese with your lunch (in a wholemeal sandwich or wrap) (3), you have reached your target – well done! And while some of these foods may not be your preferred choices, just remember to include some low-fat dairy food from the list above in a meal or snack and you are well on your way to your 3-a-day.
Low fat dairy foods contain less fat but just as much calcium!
And if you are not a dairy fan? Well there are some non dairy based sources of calcium. So look out for fortified soy yoghurts or milk, fortified tofu, fortified orange juices or choose tinned fish like sardines or tuna which have the bones crushed in them – these bones are a great source of calcium. If you are still worried about your intake, have a chat with your GP or Practice Nurse about a Calcium supplement – they will be able to recommend something to help you reach your calcium goal each day.
For more information on getting your calcium during your pregnancy, contact our Careline.