Sunday, May 6, 2007

Calcium-Rich Recipes for non milk-drinking toddlers

I have listed out some calcium high snacks in the post below. But snacks just isn't going to bring my non milk drinking 15 month old toddler through her daily required calcium intake. I try to prepare at least one or two calcium rich dishes (including snacks) for Ashley everyday, sometimes up to three (including snacks like bacon cheese srips or fried mozzarela sticks) over the weekend when she reject the dish.

These are her current favourite tried and true calcium rich dishes.

This one here has a whopping 896mg calcium per serving and is one of my favourite, cos she only need to take 1/3 of the one serving and i could save the bulk in her tummy for other necessary daily nutrients like protein.

Calcium rich mac n cheese - 8 servings
8 ounces elbow macaroni
16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
16 ounces mild cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk

1. preheat oven to 350.
2. boil the elbow noodles until cooked, drain and pour into a greased (I use cooking spray) 9x9 casserole dish.
3. cut 3/4 of the bar of 16 oz. sharp cheddar cheese in to small cubes, do the same with the mild cheddar.
4. in a 2 quart saucepan melt the butter.
5. with a fork mix in flour until it looks like a paste.
6. stir in the milk, and cook until warm (not boiling).
7. once warm add in cheese and continue cooking until cheese is melted stirring continuously with a fork (if you don't stir continuously cheese will burn to bottom of pan).
8. once cheese is melted, pour over the noodles, use a fork to move the noodles around to get the cheese mixture to the bottom.
9. bake at 350 for about 30 min., or until you see some brown on top.
10. let it sit out for about 15 minute before eating.

Ashley takes this with meatloaf (non cheesey ones. It can be dreary just taking cheese based and milk based food all the time but cheese has higher calcium content than a lot of other food. I halved the recipe and freeze the rest for later.

These are other CALCIUM RICH RECIPES that I tried out which Ashley is seems to favour more than others.

Bacon Cheese Strips

1/3 cup Mayonnaise
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon Ground mustard
5 To 6 drops hot pepper sauce
Dash pepper
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
8 Bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
8 Bread slices, crusts removed and toasted
Paprika, optional


In a bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; mix well. Stir in bacon. Spread over toast.

Sprinkle with paprika if desired. Cut each slice of toast into three strips. Place on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 2 dozen.

This has 125 mg Calcium and 1 mg Iron per serving . This is ONE of the few recipes that she would not reject . I don't always have all the ingredients on hand and made do with whatever i have. My primary one school-goer likes this for her snack when she comes home from school around 3.30pm.

This here is another dish that works well for both my non milk drinking 15 month old toddler and my picky 6 going on 7 year old. Ashley takes the burger without the buns. To be honest, more often than not, Kimberly abandon the buns as well.

Chicken "burger"
½ lb ground chicken – I use tight and breast for more iron
¼ c grated cheese
¼ c breadcrumbs
½ tsp garlic
½ tsp olive oil
16oz (1/2 can) pizza sauce
¼ c mozzarella cheese
2 buns/muffins/bread

1. Mix ground chicken, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and minced garlic; shape into four 1/2 inch thick patties.
2. Cook in olive oil in a non-stick skillet, turning as needed, 6 minutes or until cooked through.
3. Top with pizza sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.
4. Cover; cook 1 minute to melt cheese.
5. Serve on toasted buns or English muffins.

This is a quick to prepare tomato base pasta recipe i got from the Kraft website.
Italian chicken pasta

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce (about 3 cups)
2 cups (6 oz.) mostaccioli, cooked, drained (I just use any pasta on hand)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided ( i just use any mozzarella cheese, cos i cant find Kraft's mozzarella here)

COOK chicken in large skillet sprayed with cooking spray 5 min. Add green pepper and onion; cook 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
ADD spaghetti sauce and mostaccioli; cook until heated through.
STIR in 1 cup of the cheese. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese; cover. Let stand 2 min. or until cheese is melted.

This has Calcium 30 %DV and Iron 15 %DV . One of my favourite meal to prepare because you can kind on cheat on the cook from scratch spaghetti sauce and alternate it with the ready made bottled type.

This is a vegetable quiche but i have not used zucchini on it. I used bacon, luncheon meat or whatever vege i have on hand.

Zucchini Quiche

1 cup breadcrumbs
1 medium zucchini, thin sliced,drained on paper towel
( I use any vegetables on hand)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup scalded milk
1/2 cup romano cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and pepper

1. Butter a 9" pie plate and press the crumbs into it to make a crust.
2. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
3. Saute the zucchini in the olive oil for 3.
4. minutes, remove and again drain on paper towels.
5. In a saucepan, melt margarine.
6. Add flour, stir well.
7. Add milk slowly stirring all the time.
8. Cook until thickened.
9. Stir in the cheese, egg and salt& pepper.
10. Gently mix in the zucchini.
11. Ladle into the Bread crumb crust.
12. Bake in 350F degrees oven for 35 minutes.

Ashley takes one slice or less of this quiche and I usually reserve another slice for Kimberly for when she got home from school and freeze the rest for later.

To be honest, Ashley doesn't take to cheese based or milk based dishes very kindly so I still haven't got it easy. I need to alternate her meals with other non-calcium savoury dishes. She needs the other nutrients like iron and protein from those other dishes anyhow. But at least those calcium rich dishes gave me assurance somewhat that she gets optimum nutrition as long as I can manoeuvre a variety around her meals so as to get her to eat them.

I am maid less for awhile but will put up pictures when i have time to upload them up at Flickrs. Hope these help moms with toddlers who don't take milk from a bottle like mine or kids who just don't take enough calcium for one reason or another.

List of calcium high food

Following my quest for calcium rich food, I have listed down a list of calcium high food most favourable to my picky eater. Those are now necessities in her diet.

1. cheese
2. flavoured milk ( I would be lucky if she takes more than 3 sips of those
flavoured milk)
3. Mac and cheese, quiche, pizza, flaked salmon with cheese sauce, cod poached in
5. oatmeal cooked in milk
6. Calcium fortified breakfast cereal, am still looking for those which have 100%DV
of calcium per serving.
7. Calcium fortified orange juice
8. Calcium fortified soy milk
9. calcium fortified Instant oatmeal
10. milk shakes and ice creams, yes, ice creams
11. tuna sandwiches and sardines sandwiches including bones
12. Broccoli and deep greens, although calcium contents in them are lower and less
readily absorbed.

13. calcium fortified biscuits and wafers.

In between tempting her with calcium high food and calcium high dishes, i give her a break every alternate meals with other savoury non cheesy dishes. It can be dreary having cheesey milky dishes ALL the time.

I have tried these calcium high veges below but she rejects ALL of them, save for brocolli.
• Spinach
• Ladies fingers/Okra
• Baked Beans
• Broccoli
• Peas
• Brussels Sprouts

I have also tried chocolate flavored formula (Pediature)and obtained all kinds of chocolate or flavoured formula milk sachets from my pediatricians. She has also turned up her nose at every single one of them at the second offering. Sneaked milk or cheese into sauces or soups, some work , some didnt.

My only consolation is that she likes smoothies and milkshakes. Probably because these are served cold. So, its better than nothing. This is one of her favourite shake. It's a shake by and is a quick and cool calcium rich dessert which you can make in minutes.

Apples & Cream Shake


2 cup Vanilla low-fat ice cream
1 cup Unsweetened applesauce
1/4 tsp Ground cinnamon or apple pie spice ( I omitted the spice)
1 cup Fat-free skim or 1% low-fat milk
Ground cinnamon (optional)


In a blender container combine low-fat ice cream, applesauce, and the 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or apple pie spice. Cover and blend until smooth. Add fat-free skim or 1% low-fat milk. Cover and blend until just mixed. Pour into glasses. If desired, sprinkle each serving with additional cinnamon. Serve immediately. Makes 4 (8-ounce) servings.

Thie has 31 g Carbohydrates, 4 g Protein and 177 mg Calcium per serving. I normally halved or quartered the recipe.

I am also constantly checking out the labels at the aisles. Anything with high calcium goes in to the shopping basket.

You will find that there are a lot of calcium rich snacks being offered on the shopping aisles and your only barrier is getting the picky kid to eat them. If you are not sure, anything on the food labels that says 20% DV or more per serving is high calcium. These are what i found for Ashley.

1. calcium high yogurt (Calci-yum is a good choice, if your kid likes them, mine
only takes them in hot weather),
2. calcium fortified orange juice,
3. yogurt drinks (Yakult has a high DV% of calcium),
4. biscuit sticks with cheese dips (laughing cow's brand offers this)
5. calcium high biscuits (Tiger’s milk biscuits and Manna is another good choice, very high
in calcium, for those kids who doesn’t mind them although mine doesn’t fancy it)
6. cookies like Ritz’s cheese mini sandwiches,
7. calcium high wafers etc.

The list could go on.

Sad to say, Ashley turns up her nose at most of them, unlike most other kids. I guess she has been exposed to so much variety of food that nothing much interest her anymore. Perhaps she is just super duper heavy duty picky.

I am actually sneaking milk into hot chocolates and milo for her. I mean, she is not even suppose to be taking hot chocolate or milo at this tender age, but when in the face of adversity, I do whatever I can, as long as the calcium gets in there !!!

Dealing with toddler who wont take milk

It’s hard enough dealing with a picky eater. But a picky eater who won’t take milk, that takes the cake!

Kimberly, my 6 year old, used to be a picky eater, but that was fine because between the meals that we tempt her with, she gets her necessary nutrients from the ever so convenient formula milk powder. So I have an easy frame of mind when applying creativity dishing out meals for her. Plus, she is guaranteed to take her required nutrients by making up for them in the next day or so. But this is not the case with my second born.

With 15 months old Ashley, I am always at the end of my tethers. She just won’t take formula. And I am out of my mind trying to get her to eat calcium high food. I would be lucky if she ate half the amount of calcium needed daily.

By the time I got her to take that required (or rather, at least half the required) amount of calcium needed for a toddler her age, I wasn’t inclined to go through the whole rigmarole for her required proteins, irons and other minerals.

She has always rejected formula milk. But it wasn’t too much of a worry because I used to have a very patient maid whose main duty is just to keep Ashley occupied. She spends all her 12 hours just getting Ashley to drink from the bottle whenever Ashley appears occupied with the tv. So, even with only 10 oz of formula daily inside her little tummy, i still could make up the rest in solids.

However, now that the maid has finished her contractual 2 years and we are waiting for the new maid, Ashley is JUST NOT taking any bottles from me. She merely pushes it aside with disdain and seeks the breasts (I have been nursing her from birth to now and she started taking formula sometime 3 months ago when my MPI has gone down)

On busy days in between chauffeuring Kimberly around for her classes, to make up her required calcium intake, I normally had to just make do with fish nuggets from Mc D or chicken nuggets with milk shakes.

But i tried to dish up at least one to 3 homecook high calcium food for her each days. Her regular dishes used to be calcium high dishes like quiche, bake cheddar biscuits, grill cheese breads, calcium high pancakes , boiled broccoli coated with the necessary fat, cheesy meatloaf, braised p**K/chicken with hidden tofu, etc.

More often than not, it’s the easy 4 ingredient dishes like Mac and cheese, steamed cod and poached salmon in milk or omelette.

While I am exhausting myself dishing up high calcium meals for this picky eater, can someone tell me how to get a toddler to adapt to formula??? In dire straits here......