Living dairy free and/or vegan can be tough when it comes to calcium. If you are able to eat major allergens outside of dairy, you’ll have several calcium options including fortified soy, sesame seeds, and fish. If you’re looking for an extensive list of dairy free calcium sources, check out this resource at Go Dairy Free. We’ve also included this handy image to get you started.
A Note About Spinach
It is important to note that spinach, as well as a few other greens, contain a high amount of oxalate acid (naturally occurring). Oxalate binds to calcium and limits the absorption rate to about 5%. Spinach and it’s gang of greens do contain a lot of other beneficial nutrients that can be absorbed by the body. With this in mind, it’s not the best choice, but we also know that when living top 8 allergy free, your options are greatly limited.
Taking The Mixed Approach
I personally encourage people to take the mixed approach when it comes to getting nutrients into your diet. If you were to focus on only one food option, you’d have to eat SO MUCH of it to get your RDA amounts. The same goes for children, which becomes even more difficult if they’re picky eaters.
With that in mind, consider creating a meal like the one in the video below. We tap into several calcium sources to create a quick dish that rounds up some of the greatest hits in one go. I love to do this with different nutrients, and also try to pair nutrients in one dish where applicable.
What About Supplements?
Supplementing is always a viable option as far as I’m concerned. If you can find a supplement that’s safe for you, consider it as an option. Be sure to work with your MD to have your levels monitored. Supplements aren’t necessary for everyone, and should be considered on a case by case situation. Also, when supplementing, make sure you keep them on a schedule, as not all vitamins play well together, and others work better as a team. By keeping a supplement chart and schedule, you can ensure maximum effectiveness.
We personally have the kids on a supplement schedule to meet their individual needs. We opt to use organic and whole food based supplements first, when possible. Not every supplement is allergy friendly, so be sure to do your research.