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Ages & Stages


I know calcium is good for me, but how much do I need?

A recent Institute of Medicine report has provided new recommendations for the intake of calcium in children and adults.

In the Table that follows, calcium requirements are expressed in 3 different ways. Because infants have not been the subjects of clinical trials, the levels of calcium are expressed in terms of adequate intake, based on the composition of human milk (calcium). For children and adolescents 1 to 18 years of age, levels are presented based on the recommended dietary allowance, which is the level of intake that meets the requirements of 97.5% of the population. Also included is the upper level intake. These values are the safe ”high end” of the scale. These, however, should not be used as a goal but as a cautionary note that high amounts of these nutrients have been linked to health problems like kidney stones and kidney and tissue damage.


 Age  Adequate Intake  Recommended Dietary Allowance Upper Level Intake
 0-6 mo  200 mg  ---  1,000 mg
6-12 mo  260 mg  ---  1,500 mg
 1-3 y  ---  700 mg  2,500 mg
 4-8 y  ---  1,000 mg  2,500 mg
 9-18 y  ---  1,300 mg  3,000 mg


*Adapted with permission from National Academies Press. Accessed June 30, 2011.


Last Updated
Nutrition: What Every Parent Needs to Know (Copyright © American Academy of Pediatrics 2011)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.