Calcium Concerns In Infants

Ideally, babies should breastfeed. The combination of friendly bacteria in the intestines with the antibodies present in breast milk builds resistance until the child’s own immune system becomes fully competent. Do not hurry to substitute cow, goat or soy milk for breast milk, as these can induce allergic reactions and immunological changes in the intestines. Experiment with naturally fermented products such as yogurt, but be alert to any signs of intolerance such as mucus congestion, skin irritation, indigestion, diarrhea, irritability, or sleep disturbance.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, it is not essential for children to continue drinking milk after the cessation of breast-feeding in order to maintain adequate calcium levels for proper growth. Sufficient calcium is available in other foods including leafy green vegetables such as kale and collard greens, sprouted barley and quinoa, black and pinto beans, almonds, and hazelnuts, sunflower and sesame seeds, sardines or other small fishes in which the bones can be consumed with the meat. Also, soup cooked with marrow bones and a little vinegar is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus and essential amino acids.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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