For five-year-old children experiencing stomach cramps from dairy, it could be a sign of lactose intolerance, a common condition where the body doesn't produce enough lactase - an enzyme that breaks down lactose for digestion. This can lead to discomfort after consuming foods rich in lactose. But, before eliminating dairy, a consultation with a general practitioner (GP) is recommended to identify any underlying issues.
Understanding Lactose Intolerance and Calcium Needs
Lactose is a sugar found in milk and dairy products, and lactase is the enzyme that our bodies need to digest it. When there is a lack of this enzyme, lactose intolerance arises, leading to bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. However, lactose-free products, such as Horizon Organic's lactose-free whole milk and yoghurt with added lactase, can offer the same taste and retain the nutritional benefits of calcium and protein found in cow's milk.
Calcium is crucial for bone health, muscle function, and blood clotting. For children aged 1-10, they need a daily intake of 800mg of calcium, equivalent to four servings of dairy. By age 17, bones store most of their lifetime calcium, making childhood and teenage years critical for adequate intake to prevent diseases like osteoporosis later in life.
Alternative Calcium Sources
Beyond dairy, other sources of calcium include broccoli, baked beans, almonds, and sesame seeds. However, these alternatives require larger portions than dairy to meet the recommended daily intake. A product like PediaSure Grow & Gain Protein Powder can help in this regard, providing essential nutrients for growth and immune support.
Furthermore, Ensure Original offers a lactose-free option for complete nutrition in a shake form, providing essential nutrients while accommodating lactose intolerance.
Adopting a Balanced Diet
The best way to meet daily calcium needs is through a balanced diet with calcium-rich foods at each meal, including both dairy and non-dairy choices. Lactose-free products like Braum's frozen yogurt and Kate Farms Standard Nutrition Supplement can help individuals manage lactose intolerance without compromising on nutritional value.