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Dairy Free Sources of Calcium

Calcium is probably the first thing people think of if you ask the question 'what nutrients could I potentially be deficient in when dairy free? But it isn't just found in dairy products, and it's totally possible to get enough calcium without cow's milk products.


Calcium is important to maintain strong bones, plus for healthy muscle and nerve function. Daily calcium requirement guidelines in the UK are as follows:


Infants under age 1: 525mg per day

Children age 1-3 years: 350mg per day

Children age 4-6 years: 450mg per day

Children age 7-10 years: 550mg per day

Girls age 11-18 years: 800mg per day

Boys age 11-18 years: 1,000mg per day

Adults (19 years+): 700mg per day

Breastfeeding women: 1,250mg per day


Good sources of calcium


The foods are all good natural sources of calcium - try to include in your meal plans to give the family a natural calcium boost. Always check the nutrition info of the plant-based alternatives such as milk, yoghurt and cheese you're choosing to make sure they're fortified (lots aren't!)

  • Fortified cereals (e.g. cheerios)

  • Fortified breads (eg. kingsmill 50/50 vitamin boost)

  • Sardines

  • Oranges

  • Kale & spring greens

  • Calcium set tofu (avoid if soya free)

  • Broccoli

  • Tinned salmon

  • Chia Seeds

  • Fortified plant-based milk, yoghurts & cheese (see note above)


Vitamin D


Vitamin D helps to aid the absorption of calcium, so consider adding vitamin D rich sources such as below as well as calcium rich foods.


Good sources of vitamin D

  • Sunshine!

  • Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, pilchards, trout, herring, kippers and eel

  • cod liver oil contains a lot of vitamin D (but don’t take this if you are pregnant)

  • margarine, some breakfast cereals, infant formula milk and some dairy free yoghurts have added vitamin D


Sources: BDA (association of UK dietitians), NHS





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