Christmas season often means bringing people together – which often brings questions, which often include the old classic…

Where do you get your calcium from?

It’s a valid question – we all need calcium, and the first ingredients when you think about calcium are the usual suspects; milk, cheese, yogurt. But it doesn’t make it any less awkward to answer.

Firstly, the calcium found in cows milk and plant-based milk is absorbed in exactly the same way, and it contains the same amount of calcium (240mg in 200ml).

The good news is that a lot of calcium-rich foods can be used as simple toppers to your usual meals, which means you won’t need to make any adjustments to get extra calcium into your diet. Chai seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds can all be sprinkled over breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Jars filled with seeds and quinoa

The best way to make sure you’re getting enough calcium is to regularly make it part of your diet. Whether that’s through daily fortified milk-alternative products, having fortified cereal for breakfast every morning, cooking kale and stirring it into your evening meal, sprinkling ground chai seeds on your breakfast or keeping berries nearby to snack on, like raspberries and blackberries.

A great breakfast for winter

Oats made with a plant-based milk, topped with chia seeds, almond butter and a treat – like berries or chocolate chips, and a dash of cinnamon are the perfect start to a winter morning. Plant-based yogurt and coconut yogurt are a great start to the day, too.

Bowl of creamy oats topped with chocolate chips and seeds
Make a souper lunch

Sorry, we couldn’t help it. Soup is the perfect way to pack in calcium, not only through the base ingredients but by blending up additional hits of calcium. You can also make it creamy with some plant-based cream. Try one of these 17 soup recipes from Cookie and Kate – we have our eye on the West African Peanut Soup!

Bowl of sweet potato soup topped with seeds

Other healthy calcium-rich lunches include salads filled with black beans, pinto beans or white beans, tempeh or tofu, and drizzled with a tahini dressing – like this huge salad recipe from Minimalist Baker.

Simple stirfrys
Tofu noodles and vegetables

Stirfrys are an easy way to whip up a dinner packed with calcium – broccoli, kale, tofu, pak choi and edamame are all high in calcium and can be thrown into a wok with some cashew nuts, soya sauce, rice or noodles and anything else stocked up in your fridge. For something a bit more exciting try this tofu satay bowl from The Little Plantation.

If you need additional supplements, take a look at Holland and Barrett’s website.

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