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Building and Keeping Strong Bones:
Your Calcium Goal

Photo woman professional

How much calcium is right for me?

Everyone needs calcium-women, men, kids and teens-but our calcium needs change throughout life. Look at the table below and see what you need now.

Group Elemental Calcium
Needed per day in milligrams (mg)
Write in Your Daily Goal Below:
Children/young adults 4-8 years 800 mg Your daily goal:
Children/young adults 9-18 1000 mg
Adults 19 to 50 1000 mg
Women and Men 50+ 1200 mg

How can I reach my daily calcium goal?

By eating enough high calcium foods, calcium fortified food and beverages, taking calcium supplements or a combination of all three!

Item Serving Calcium (in milligrams)
Yogurt, lowfat plain 1 cup 415
Yogurt, lowfat with fruit 1 cup 372
Milk, nonfat, 1%, 2%, or whole 1 cup 300
Cheese, Swiss 1 oz 272
Cheese, mozzarella, part skim 1 oz 207
Frozen yogurt 1/2 cup 150
Item Serving Calcium (in milligrams)
Tofu w/ calcium 1/2 cup 120 to 350
Turnip greens, cooked 1/2 cup 134
Kale, cooked 1/2 cup 103
Navy beans, cooked 1/2 cup 62
Mustard greens, cooked 1/2 cup 52
Broccoli, cooked 1/2 cup 47
Item Serving Calcium (in milligrams)
Oysters 1/2 cup 100
Canned pink salmon w/ bones 3 oz 150
Canned sardines 8 medium 350

Learn to read labels. The amount of calcium in foods is referred to in terms of % of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) and is based on a 1000 mg. per day requirement. So 1% of the RDA equals 10 mg of elemental calcium. For example, 30% of the RDA equals 300 mg of calcium. Just add a zero to the percent on the label.

Fortified Foods/Drinks: Some orange juice, soy and rice milk is supplemented with calcium and may contain as much calcium as a glass of milk.

Compiled by
Mary Laya, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor,
Department of Medicine / Division of General Internal Medicine
University of Washington Medical Center


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