Ten Calcium - Boosting Breakfasts Ideas

Love simple breakfasts that include filling a small mason jar with my favorite yogurt, fruit and homemade flax & chia seed granola.

Love simple breakfasts that include filling a small mason jar with my favorite yogurt, fruit and homemade flax & chia seed granola.

I always talk to young elite or multi-sport athletes about the importance of not skipping a meal. Each meal is an opportunity for the young athlete to get needed protein to repair torn muscles, carbohydrate to replenish energy stores, fat for brain health, satiety and inflammation-fighting, and certain nutrients like calcium to keep bones strong. Just as skipping a meal puts the young athlete at a disadvantage, not skipping meals can be one simple way to take your training and performance up a notch. Today I’m talking about calcium and I’m specifically focusing on ways to get calcium in breakfast because, of all the schools and sports teams I visit, the athletes skip breakfast the most often. Keep on reading for some breakfast ideas that will boost your young athlete’s calcium intake. Questions? Comment below!

Happy Fueling!


Ten Calcium - Boosting Breakfast Ideas

for the Young Athlete

  1. Sun Butter Banana and Chia Seed Oatmeal

    This is my newest morning oatmeal go-to recipe. Bump up the calcium by using some almond butter instead of Sun Butter or peanut butter!

  2. Sun butter banana overnight oats

    Still love the simplicity of these overnight oats. Again, use almond butter instead of Sun Butter or peanut butter for a little boost in calcium.

  3. Cherry Vanilla Overnight Oats

    A non-nut or non-seed butter option, this breakfast is packed with flavor and offers some calcium to busy mornings!

  4. Yogurt & Fruit Parfait with Flax Seeds

    No recipe needed here. Just layer your favorite yogurt, fruit and a sprinkle of flaxseed into a glass or bowl. Super simple and full of calcium.

    REMEMBER: Greek or higher protein yogurts tend to have less calcium than your regular yogurts. It’s due to how the Greek yogurt is strained / made. So, while your Greek - type yogurts boast more protein, they often have less calcium. If both protein and calcium are a concern, I always say, just mix it up! My favorite yogurts are Siggi’s, Chobani, and this Icelandic brand.

  5. Smoothie made with yogurt or almond milk

    Use whatever your favorite smoothie recipe is and try to get about 8 ounces of milk or almond milk or about 4 to 6 ounces of milk and 4 to 6 ounces of yogurt. Throw in chia seeds, flaxseeds or kale for a little more of a boost!

  6. Cheese Toast

    Growing up, on Saturday mornings I would often walk into the kitchen to mom eating a piece of toast with cheese on top that she had broiled in the oven. Guess you could call it an open faced grilled cheese if you need a better picture but we just called it what it was - cheese toast. This was typically a breakfast option in our household. Well, one morning last year at a high school, after I had finished a talk to a girls volleyball and soccer team, I was answering questions. I was talking with one young lady about easy breakfast ideas that could get her some protein and calcium quickly. I mentioned this cheese toast and she just looked at me curiously and with so much skepticism in her eyes and said, “like a bad grilled cheese??” . Ha! Touche. All I could do was laugh. Fair point I guess, if you didn’t grow up with it. So, with all that said. Take or leave the cheese toast. But it is an option! You could even dress it up by topping it with a slice of tomato and sprinkle of Italian season before broiled it in the oven.

  7. Mini Wafflewiches

    This idea came straight from the Kids in the Kitchen program that I was a part of for three years with the Junior League of Dallas. The kids made these in schools and it was by far one of the favorites in all of the schools. I downsized it a little here to be more compact and portable if you wanted.

    • 4 mini waffles (for 2 mini sandwiches)

    • vanilla yogurt

    • nut or seed butter (optional)

    • sliced banana

  8. Eggs with cheese & sauted kale. dried figs on the side

    Easy eggs. You could even add this into egg cups like the ones here to have ahead of time!

  9. Cottage cheese with drizzles of honey & fruit

    About 1/2 cup of cottage cheese gives you about 100 mg of calcium!

  10. Almond butter toast and an 8 to 12 ounce glass of milk or almond milk

    Go with your favorite toast. If you use almond butter you could get even an extra little boost of calcium! Pair it with milk, or almond milk to maximize your calcium in the meal.

A Sample 1300 mg Meal Plan Without Dairy


The always tricky situation occurs when working with a high level, multi sport young athlete who eats little to no dairy. Often times this is when I end up talking about supplements and make recommendations for supplement brands that are 3rd party tested for safety. To learn more about safe supplements for you or your young athlete, visit this previous post.

However, before jumping on the supplement train, I always like to demonstrate that calcium goals can be met from food alone even when a young athlete does not care for dairy foods. That is what I am showing you today. Below you will find one Sample Meal Plan that meets the 1300 mg calcium a day goal without the use of dairy. Again, this only reflects calcium. Calories, carbs, protein, and fat are not taken specifically into account Comment with questions! For the list of non-dairy food and beverage sources of calcium check out this previous post. And, don’t forget your vitamin D along with it to make sure that calcium gets to your bones!

Happy Fueling!




  • 1 to 2 scrambled eggs

  • 8 oz. of almond milk (300 mg)

  • Fresh fruit


  • 1/2 cup dried figs (90 mg)


  • Kale Salad

    • 4 cups fresh kale (360 mg)

    • grilled chicken

    • toasted almonds (12 nuts) (37 mg)

    • veggies of choice

    • 1/2 cup kidney beans (95 mg)

    • dressing of choice

  • Fresh fruit


  • Diced pears and apples


  • Grilled miso salmon (~76 mg)

  • Grilled Bok choy (~88mg)

  • Roasted potatoes (~30 mg)

  • kale salad (2 cups) (180mg)


  • Chocolate soy milk (300 mg)

TOTAL CALCIUM: ~1556 mg*

* I surpassed the recommended amount of 1300 mg here because the calcium in these plant sources may not all be fully absorbed and utilized in the body.

A Sample 1300 mg Calcium Meal Plan

DIY Blackberry Yogurt 1.PNG

Hey there! Hope everyone had a great weekend. If you follow me on my Instagram you know that I got to spend Sunday doing one of my favorite activities with the family, ice skating. It was so much fun to skate but to also get to help my niece and nephew skate.

I just posted my blog post about calcium & vitamin D needs for kids and teens and the young athlete last week. This week, because I’m such an advocate for food first if possible, I want to share with you a couple of examples of what meeting needs through diet alone can look like. For my examples I have chosen the 1300 mg goal because teens are who I most often see with stress fractures and who I most often educate. See previous post for calcium recommended daily amounts for different ages. Remember that I’m really only considering calcium here. This does not reflect any particular energy, protein, carbohydrate or fat intake. Nor does it address other micronutrients. Comment with questions!

Happy Fueling!


1300 mg CALCIUM PER DAY MEAL PLANS (with dairy)



  • 5 oz yogurt (250 mg)

  • 1/2 tsp chia seeds (85 mg)

  • fruit


  • 1 oz raw or dry roasted almonds (75 mg)


  • Grilled chicken sandwich

  • With 1 slice of cheese (150 mg)

  • Side kale salad (2 cups fresh kale) (180 mg)


  • 8 oz. chocolate milk (300 mg)


  • Pork tenderloin

  • 1 baked potato (~30 mg)

    • 1 slice cheese (~150 mg)

    • plain yogurt (~50 mg)

  • 1 cup cooked broccoli (62 mg)

TOTAL CALCIUM: ~ 1332 mg



  • 1 cup cooked oatmeal (1/2 cup dry oats + 1 cup milk) (~328 mg)

  • 2 tsp almond butter (~28 mg)

  • 1/2 banana


  • 1 yogurt, not Greek (~ 5 oz.) (~250 mg)


  • Grilled salmon salad

    • 3 cups chopped fresh kale (270 mg)

    • 4 oz grilled Coho salmon (50 mg)

    • diced veggies of choice

    • 2 tbsp feta (~90 mg)

    • dressing of choice

  • fruit / crackers on the side


  • 5 figs (~135 mg)


  • Grilled chicken breast

    • 1 slice melted mozzarella cheese (~150 mg)

    • fresh sliced tomatoes + basil

  • 1 cup cooked broccoli (~60 mg)

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice

  • 8 oz. milk (300 mg)


Calcium for the Young Athlete

DIY Blackberry Yogurt 1.PNG

Calcium and Vitamin D are big topics for me as I continue working with young athletes.  I see many stress fractures commonly caused by a combination of overuse, under-resting, and suboptimal nutrition intake, specifically of calcium and vitamin D.  I have also had a number of friends ask me specific information regarding calcium and vitamin D and so, while not going into specific recommendations, I am dedicating a full post to these two nutrients. This and other posts will talk about general information. If you have real concerns that you or your athlete are not getting enough calcium, you should formally talk with your doctor or sports dietitian. Stay tuned for posts focused specifically on recipes and sample meal plans to come!


Calcium and vitamin D are two nutrients with an important role in bone health.  While calcium plays an essential role in bone development, vitamin D is a nutrient that aids in the absorption and regulation of the calcium.  Therefore, these two nutrients work together to protect against the loss of bone mass and maintain strong bones, which is especially important during the teen years when bones tend to grow at a more rapid rate. Calcium is also used for things like muscle contractions and heart function. The body uses the calcium in the blood for these functions. If not getting enough calcium to keep blood levels normal, the body will pull that needed calcium from the bones. Thus the reason we need to be getting calcium in what we eat and drink!


  • 4 - 8 years old: 1,000 mg / day

  • 9 - 13 years old: 1300 mg / day

  • 14 - 18 years old: 1300 mg / day


  • 1 - 18 years old: 600 IU / day


Calcium doesn’t have to come from just dairy. There are non-dairy sources too. Just remember that if you choose to get it from non-dairy sources, you are going to need bigger portions of those calcium-containing foods!

  • Leafy greens (kale, bok choy and collards)

  • Chia & sesame seeds

  • Figs

  • White beans

  • Almonds

  • Broccoli (small amounts)

  • Milk (any %. They all have the same amount of calcium per serving)

  • Yogurt

  • Cheese

  • Cottage cheese

  • Canned salmon

  • Calcium - fortified tofu


  • UV exposed mushrooms

  • Fortified milk substitutes & yogurts

  • Egg (yolks)

  • Salmon & tuna

  • Ready-to-eat cereals


  • Make oatmeal with milk or calcium-fortified milk substitutes

  • Fruit smoothie made with milk or yogurt

  • Add cheese to eggs and sandwiches

  • Drink a glass of milk or chocolate milk with meals or as your after practice snack (love these Horizon milk boxes that can be thrown in a lunchbox or sports bag!)

  • Pack string cheese as snacks

  • Add dry milk powder to oatmeal, soups, stews and baked goods

  • Include a yogurt & fruit parfait for breakfast or as an after-dinner snack

  • Top a baked potato with steamed broccoli, 1/4 cup shredded cheese and plain yogurt

  • Add 1/2 cup of cooked calcium-rich greens to meals

  • Snack on 1/2 cup cooked soybeans or 5 dried figs or toss over salads

  • Make a breakfast shake with calcium-fortified beverage, fruit & greens

  • Add chia seeds to oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies and salads

  • Include a glass of calcium - fortified orange juice with breakfast or a snack


Foods containing oxalates can inhibit calcium absorption.

Higher oxalate - containing foods = beans, nuts, soy beans, and some dark leafy greens like spinach.

Lower oxalate - containing foods = kale and Bok choy

This doesn’t mean you need to cut the higher oxalate - containing foods out of the diet, but try to incorporate some of the lower oxalate and non-oxalate - containing foods more often.