The Calcium Delimma

I’m really careful about making sure that my kids get enough vitamins and minerals in their diets.  I make sure we eat a variety of seasonal vegetables and I also make them a smoothie every morning so that they get a good dose of fruit to start the day.

Something I have been concerned about lately though is calcium.  I was reading the back of their vitamin bottle one day and discovered that it only gives 8% of the RDA (my vitamins have 25%).  I got my health food shop to see if they could find any other vegan kids multi-vitamins or even just a chewable calcium supplement that was vegan and didn’t require them to take 10 pills a day and they came up with nothing.

A few months back I switched us over to organic rice milk.  The rice milk we’ve been using doesn’t have any calcium in it and I also discovered that the tofu we’ve been using isn’t made with calcium either.  My reasoning for the switch was that I felt the boys were having too much soya in their diets.  However, since I’ve been doing the Vegan Hope programme they have a lot less soya so there was the option of giving them soya milk again.  In the UK organic products are not allowed to be fortified though and I won’t use non-organic soya so I was at a bit of a standstill.

I did discover a liquid calcium supplement so while I was sorting out what to do to increase their calcium these were the vitamins I was giving them

The DHA is supposed to help autistic children be a little calmer which is one of the many reasons I decided to fork out the huge price tag for it (although this time around I got their Dad to buy a bottle for them!) and they have been taking the Kangavites for a while now and refer to them as their ‘sweeties’.  I wasn’t using as much of the  Osteocare as the bottle called for, if I had they would have taken it with each meal and it would have cost a fortune.

I have been trying to sneak in extra calcium where I can, I put greens in their smoothies, put sesame seeds in things and use tahini (have to hide the seeds and tahini as Jim isn’t a fan).

Then, one day I pulled some information from the dark recesses of my brain, Provamel use organic soya beans for all their products, whether they are labelled organic or not.  In my health food shop I came up with this

Basically, it’s organic soya milk with vitamins!  I used it in their smoothies and on their cereal and finally feel, along with the greens and sesame products plus the Osteocare a couple of times a week, that I am giving them enough calcium to help them grow properly.  By the way the 99p offer has just started again (my health food shop being as great as they are have stockpiled it for me as I buy 4-5 a week!).

I’m sure I’ll find something else to worry about soon, but it was nice to get something sorted!

If your kids are vegans do you give them vitamins and if so which ones?  Do you worry about calcium and DHA’s for your kids and if so what do you do about it?

This book gives a lot of good information about what kids require if you’re worried and/or interested in making sure that your kids are getting everything they need.  I resisted buying it for a while as I hate the whole idea of ‘Idiots Guides’, I’m not an idiot and I find the title kind of insulting, but it turned out to be quite a good book.  It has recipes and a lot of ideas on how to get your kids to eat what’s good for them including tips for kids moving to a vegan diet and how to manage social situations where your kids won’t be eating what the other kids are.


One thought on “The Calcium Delimma

  1. Hi, I have four vegan children, the only one who has a regular multi-vitamin is the baby. We use the orange carton soya milk, fortified spread and make sure they have a good balanced diet. I think as vegans we tend to think more about what we are eating and therefore are more likely to provide a balanced diet. The other thing I use is the vitamin chart (I got it from the vegan society) I find it reassuring! There is always something to worry about!!

So, what do you think?

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