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Increase Calcium and Vitamin D

I tracked the food I eat on the SuperTracker (at www.chooseMyPlate.gov) for a week. I learned that I am not getting enough calcium and vitamin D in my diet. I like milk, but I tend to have water instead of milk.

Water is a healthful beverage, but we all need calcium in our daily diet. Milk and other dairy products are excellent sources of calcium, vitamin D, protein, and several other vitamins and minerals. Children above age 9 and adults need about 3 cups of dairy per day; younger children need 2 to 2½ cups, depending on their age. As a rule of thumb, try having milk with meals and water as your between-meal beverage. Enjoy other calcium-rich dairy foods such as yogurt and cheese, too.

Note: Some people are lactose-intolerant. Be sure to visit with your health-care provider if you experience bloating, pain or other symptoms after drinking milk. Some people may need to have lactose-free milk or may need to drink smaller amounts at a time. Calcium-fortified cereals, canned fish (such as salmon with bones), dry edible beans, tofu and green vegetables (broccoli, turnip greens, kale) contain calcium, too.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise June 2015 newsletter (PDF)

Visit www.chooseMyPlate.gov for SuperTracker and other nutrition resources.

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