So… calcium…

Calcium is an essential nutrient (meaning, we have to get it from outside of our own bodies i.e from food), and about 99% is found in our teeth and bones.  In this blog, I’ll let you know how to get enough calcium in your diet, whether you eat dairy or not.  I’ll then give you a bit more information about calcium, so you know a bit more about the role it plays in your health.

Whilst dairy foods are a great source of calcium (and probably the most well known source), it’s not always possible to get out calcium from dairy…

But what if you’re

  • Lactose intolerant?
  • Have a allergy to cows milk protein?
  • Following a vegan or plant-based diet?
  • Needing to be on an elimination diet?

Can you get enough calcium? Yes. You certainly can.


The recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium is as follows:

  • 0-6 months: 210mg (AI)
  • 7-12 months: 270mg (AI)
  • 1-3 years: 500mg
  • 4-8 years: 700mg
  • 9-13 years: 1000-1300mg
  • 4-18 years: 1300mg
  • Adult Men (<70 years): 1000mg
  • Adult Men (>70 years): 1300mg
  • Adult Women (<50 years): 1000mg
  • Adult Women (>50 years): 1300mg
  • Pregnancy / Lactation (<18 years): 1300mg
  • Pregnancy / Lactation (>18 years): 1000mg


How to get your calcium

Check out our instagram post for more calcium-rich sources…

Omnivore Diet

(You eat dairy, animal and plant-based foods):

Breakfast: Chocolate Avocado Smoothie (655mg)

Snack: Yoghurt, Berries and Hemp Seeds (547mg)

Lunch: White Bean Salad (119)

Snack: Hummus and Carrot Sticks (89mg)

Dinner: Chicken, Edamame, Avo Rice Bowls (119mg )

Daily Calcium Intake: 1529mg

Dairy Free / Pescatarian Diet

(You eat seafood, animal and plant-based foods, but no dairy):

Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Porridge (577mg)

Snack: Rice Cakes with Almond Butter (110mg)

Lunch: Sardines and Grilled Tomatoes on Toast (436mg)

Snack: Hummus and Carrot Sticks (89mg)

Dinner: Baked Salmon and Broccoli Sushi Bowl (99mg)

Daily Calcium Intake: 1311mg

Vegan Diet

(You don’t eat any animal products, including dairy):

Breakfast: Mango Oat Smoothie (485mg)

Snack: Molasses Cookies x 2 (106mg)

Lunch: Broccoli and Almond Salad (208mg)

Snack: Apple with Almond Butter (119mg)

Dinner: Roast Cauliflower, Chickpea and Tempeh Salad (392mg)

Daily Calcium Intake: 1310mg


More about Calcium

Calcium is an essential nutrient (meaning, we have to get it from outside of our own bodies i.e from food), and about 99% is found in our teeth and bones.

Calcium is one of the main nutrients (and the most famous) required for building strong bones. But did you know that it’s also required for:

  • healthy blood vessel function
  • muscle function – contraction and relaxation
  • nerve transmission, allowing us to move and use our senses
  • intracellular signalling – how our cells communicate with each other
  • hormonal secretion
  • healthy blood clotting

It also plays a role in preventing chronic illness:

  • Cancer prevention, particularly of the colon, rectum and prostate
  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) and pre-eclampsia
  • Weight management
  • Reduced risk of falls and fractures in the ageing population
  • Lower incidence of Type 2 Diabetes

To improve calcium absorption, a number of other nutrients are needed to help the process including vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, boron and protein.

Insufficient calcium intake can become serious.  Signs and symptoms of calcium deficiency can include:

  • Osteopaenia (pre-osteporosis)
  • Osteoporosis (porous bones)
  • Osteomalacia (bone pain)
  • Rickets (vitamin D deficiency)
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle cramping
  • Tooth Decay
  • Fainting
  • Seizures
  • Numbness or tingling in fingers, toes or mouth
  • Hair, skin or nail signs such as coarseness, brittleness, dryness, itchiness, psoriasis


Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand 2014, Calcium, Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council, accessed 21st December 2022,

Health Direct 2020 Calcium, Australian Government, accessed 21st December 2022,