Food

Where Do Vegan Kids Get Their Calcium?

It’s a fact: Kids don’t need cheese and milk, and they can actually be bad for you. Scientists figured out that people who drink at least two glasses of milk every day actually break bones more often than people who drink less than one glass.

Plus, the dairy industry is super-cruel to cows. Calves on dairy farms are stolen from their moms when they’re just a day old. Even though cows normally live to be about 20, the ones abused in the dairy industry are usually only 4 or 5 by the time they’re worn out and sent to slaughter.

Baby-Cow-in-Wheelbarrel-JM

So here are 13 awesome sources of calcium that you can feel good about eating because they don’t come from cows!

1. Tofu

Tofu-Scramble-and-Fruit

Just half a cup of firm tofu can have as much as 861 milligrams of calcium in it—not to mention a ton of protein. Ask your parents to make you a tofu scramble with a glass of orange juice for breakfast, and you’ll have your complete RDA of calcium before lunchtime.

2. Black-Eyed Peas

These babies can be served as a side dish for lunch or dinner. They’re yummy and have 370 milligrams of calcium per cup. (Most kids need about 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day.)

3. Soy Milk

One serving of Silk Original Soymilk has 50 percent more calcium than a serving of cow’s milk. That’s a lot!

4. Sesame Seeds

Sesame-SeedsFreeImages.com/Erik Araujo

Just 2 little ounces of these seeds have 560 milligrams of calcium. If you’re a hummus kind of person, you’re in luck: Most hummus contains ground-up sesame seeds (delish!), or you can buy some tahini, which is a lot like peanut butter but made out of sesame seeds instead.

5. Almond Milk

A glass of Califia Farms Original Almondmilk has 50 percent more calcium than a glass of cow’s milk. Drink up—your bones will thank you!

6. Turnip Greens

Ask your parents to add turnip greens to a stir-fry for a big kick of calcium. Just a cup and a half of these cooked greens can give you almost 300 milligrams of calcium. Broccoli and kale have tons of calcium, too.

7. Seaweed

If you haven’t tried seaweed, you’re missing out! Your family can get yummy seaweed at your local grocery or Asian store, and depending on the type, it can have up to 10 times more calcium than milk.

8. White Beans

One cup of these beans will give you 191 milligrams of calcium—plus a ton of iron. Ask your parents to mash them up into a droolworthy Alfredo sauce for your pasta.

9. Blackstrap Molasses

Molasses comes from sugar cane, so it’s naturally sweet. You can add 2 tablespoonfuls of it to a smoothie for a serious calcium boost and some extra flavor.

10. Cashew Milk

Are you seeing a trend yet? There are so many different kinds of nondairy milks that have way more calcium than cow’s milk—including Silk Original Cashewmilk, which contains 45 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of calcium in just one glass. And it tastes soooooo good. Go ahead and try it—you’ll see!

11. Fortified Orange Juice

Orange-JuiceFreeImages.com/Marta Rostek

Lots of orange juices have calcium added to them. A single serving can provide as much as 500 milligrams of calcium.

12. Rice Milk

Yep, this is yet another vegan alternative to cow’s milk. One glass of Rice Dream Enriched Original rice milk contains 30 percent of the RDA of calcium. It also has a ton of vitamin D—another super-important nutrient—in it.

13. Figs

FigsFreeImages.com/Eyup Salman

Looking for a little something sweet? Nom on some dried figs for a tasty, calcium-rich treat.

*****

Did you think we forgot about dessert?