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Nutrition
Calcium



Calcium
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.84

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    absorption, caffeinated, calcium-fortified, gravitate, intolerant, lactose, low-fat, macro, mini, Soft-taco, whole-grain, creativity, teens, formula, tofu, nonfat


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Calcium
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     Why do parents tell their kids to drink their milk? You may believe it's just something parents say to be difficult, but there's a real health reason behind it. Milk has lots of calcium in it. Your growing body needs calcium.
 
2     What is calcium? Calcium is called a macromineral. It is needed by the body in large amounts. It is essential to building strong bones and teeth. It is also important in muscle contraction, sending messages through the nerves, and hormone release. In order to develop the strongest bones possible, a person needs to be physically active and eat enough foods with calcium as a child and as a teenager. When the body isn't getting enough calcium, the body takes it from the bones so that it can be used by other cells in the body. That, of course, can weaken bones.
 
3     Unfortunately, not everyone takes in enough calcium. Some studies indicate that over 85% of girls and 60% of boys from nine to eighteen don't. Bones grow rapidly during this time. Not having enough calcium can cause problems later on.
 
4     What amounts of calcium are needed? It is recommended that toddlers take in 500 mg of calcium a day. Children from four years to eight years need 800 mg. Those from nine to eighteen need 1,300 mg.

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