Healthy calcium-rich food recipes


Calcium is crucial for the development and lifetime maintenance of healthy bones. Together with other minerals, calcium forms hard crystals that give bones their strength and structure and bones contain over 99% of the calcium in the body.

Calcium is also needed for other functions in the body including the heart, muscles, blood, and nerves. Your bones function like a calcium bank. If you do not consume enough calcium, your body will remove what it needs from your bones to use elsewhere. Your body requires calcium every day. Calcium loss from bones is a reason for the deterioration of bone health, strength and density and increased risk of developing osteoporosis.

How do our bodies absorb calcium?

For the body to properly use the calcium present in the food, adequate vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium from the intestine to support healthy bones. Vitamin D also supports the growth and maintenance of the skeleton and regulates calcium levels in the blood.

We need to consume calcium-rich foods to obtain enough calcium from our diet. There is an even greater need to prioritise calcium-rich foods in the diet for postmenopausal women, individuals with lactose intolerance, and individuals who do not consume any dairy.

Calcium rich foods including seeds, fish, veggies and dairy.

In Australia, adults over 18 years old are recommended to have 1,000 mg of calcium daily. This increases to 1,300 mg daily for women over 50 and men over 70.

Calcium can be found in various foods; however, calcium levels vary, so it is important to select foods with calcium content as part of your daily diet. While dairy is a common source of calcium, other food groups can provide calcium and menu options. Focusing on calcium in foods makes it easier to find foods you like to eat and can provide a calcium boost. An easy way to check this is by using lists of calcium content in different food groups. For example, specific vegetables, fruits, beans/lentils, seeds/nuts and even certain meat and seafood can help.

Calcium-rich foods are delicious and can help you avoid deficiencies and keep your body healthy. However, talking to a healthcare professional for personalised advice on meeting your calcium needs is always a good idea. A calcium supplement may be required if calcium can not be improved through your diet, but this should be discussed with your doctor. If your vitamin D level is very low or deficient, this would need to be discussed and managed with your doctor, usually with the aid of supplements.

What are foods high in calcium?

Milk and milk drinks

Food 200 mlCalcium (mg)
Milk, semi-skimmed 240
Milk, skimmed 244
Milk, whole 236
Milkshake 360
Sheep Milk380
Coco Milk 54
Soy Drink (non-enriched)26
Soy Drink (calcium-enriched)240
Rice drink22
Oat milk16
Almond milk90


Food 150 gCalcium (mg)
Yoghurt, flavoured 197
Yoghurt, with fruit pieces169
Yoghurt, natural207


FoodServing (g)Calcium (mg)


FoodServing (g)Calcium (mg)
Hard Cheese (e.g. Cheddar,
Parmesan, Emmental, Gruyère)
Fresh Cheese (e.g. Cottage
Cheese, Riccotta, Mascarpone)
Soft Cheese (e.g. Brie,
Cream Cheese60180

Cream and desserts

FoodServing (g)Calcium (mg)
Cream, double, whipped30ml21
Cream full30ml21
Custard made with milk, vanilla120g111
Ice Cream, vanilla100g124
Pudding, vanilla120g120
Rice Pudding200g210
Pancake80 g62
Cheese Cake200g130
Dairy products including milk, cheese, butter are rich in calcium.


Food Serving (g)Calcium (mg)
Kale, Collard Greens50(raw)32
Bok Choy/Pak Choi50(raw)20

Beans and lentils

FoodServing (g)Calcium (mg)
Lentils80 raw
200 cooked
Chick Peas80 raw
200 cooked
White Beans80 raw
200 cooked
Red Beans80 raw
200 cooked
Green/French Beans900 Cooked50
Vegetables can help to keep your bones healthy, many of them are calcium-rich foods.

Starchy foods

Food Serving (g)Calcium (mg)
Pasta (cooked)18026
Rice, White (boiled)1804
Potatoes (boiled)24014
White Bread40 (slice)6
Wholemeal Bread40 (slice)12
Muesli (cereals)5021

Meat, fish and eggs

FoodServing (g)Calcium (mg)
Red Meat1207
Fish (e.g. Cod, Trout,
Herring, Whitebait)
Tuna, canned12034
Sardines in Oil, canned60240
Smoked Salmon609
Red meat and salmon surrounded by nuts. Foods rich in calcium.


Food Serving (g)Calcium (mg)
Currant (dried gooseberry)12072
Figs, dried6096
Raisins (dried grapes)4031

Nuts and seeds

FoodServing (g)Calcium (mg)
Brazil Nuts3028
Sesame Seeds3022
Tahini Paste3042
Collection of healthy fruits  including banana, orange, apples and berries, rich in calcium.

How much calcium is recommended?

Recommendations for daily calcium intake vary depending on age. It starts from 500 mg/day for children 1 – 3 years old and raises to 1,300 mg/day for older adults. You can find the whole table of daily calcium intake on our Calcium page, “Calcium & Bone Health“.

So when you are an older adult, your needed amount of calcium is 1,300 mg/day can be achieved by eating, for example:

  • 200 ml of milkshake, 360 mg of calcium
  • 150 g of natural yoghurt, 207 mg of calcium
  • 50 g of muesli (cereals), 21 mg of calcium
  • 30 g of hard cheese, 240 mg of calcium
  • 60 g of sardines in oil, 240 mg of calcium
  • 120 g of chicken, 17 mg of calcium
  • 180 g of pasta, 26 mg of calcium
  • 100 g vanilla ice cream, 124 mg of calcium
  • 30 g of almonds, 75 mg of calcium

Altogether this list would provide over 1,300mg of calcium and shows how adding certain foods to each meal or snack can help.

Do we absorb all the calcium we eat?

A calcium-rich diet is the best way to achieve the recommended daily calcium intake. However, not all of the calcium we consume is absorbed by the body, and a small amount is lost and excreted. The recommended intake for your age takes this into account. Calcium absorption depends on many factors, and you can check the details on the above page (Calcium page link).

What meals are high in calcium?

Several meals have high calcium content. Well-known examples are Greek Yogurt Parfait, Salmon with Broccoli, Spinach and Cheese Omelet, Cottage Cheese and Fruit Bowl, and well-known grandma’s dessert cheesecake! Below we prepared examples of calcium-rich meals. Full recipes are found in Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, a national not-for-profit organisation (

Calcium-rich food recipes.

Recipes by Jean Hailes naturopath and herbalist Sandra Villella

Roast chickpea & vegetable salad

Here’s an easy and delicious way to get your veggies and a good dose of calcium.

Recipe link on the Jean Hailes website

Sardines on toast

Sardines on toast can be delicious, even for those who dislike their taste and smell. This recipe combines sardines with robust flavours.

Recipe link on the Jean Hailes website

Women’s Health Week smoothie

A healthy breakfast or a protein-rich afternoon pick-me-up is important for feeling energized throughout the day. This delicious smoothie, made with antioxidant-packed raspberries and strawberries, tastes great and provides valuable nutrients.

Recipe link on the Jean Hailes website

Baked ricotta with blueberries

Looking for a delicious and healthy breakfast or dessert option? Try out this yummy grain-free recipe that features the natural sweetness of blueberries and cinnamon.

Recipe link on the Jean Hailes website

Roast chickpea & vegetable salad

Enjoy a calcium-rich vegetarian dinner with roasted cauliflower and beetroot. Yogurt completes the essential amino acids in this protein-packed dish. Note that calcium content varies depending on production or brand.

Recipe link on the Jean Hailes website

Bircher muesli

We all know that breakfast is a crucial meal of the day. Studies have shown skipping breakfast can decrease energy and physical activity, resulting in fewer calories burned.

Recipe link on the Jean Hailes website

Find more recipes on the Jean Hailes website link here.


Maintaining strong bones and overall health is crucial, and calcium is the key to achieving this. Challenge yourself by reviewing calcium content in different foods and putting together some meal combos that give you a decent boost of calcium. And think about when you like to eat more calcium…for example a smoothie for breakfast or dessert treat after dinner. The are many options for adding additional calcium to your diet.