Yesterday, per my Birthday Resolution to get enough calcium, I kept track of what I ate and checked nutrition facts to find out how much calcium everything contained. For the items that didn’t have nutrition facts, I used Wolfram Alpha, which amazes me.

According to this article, I should be getting 1,000 mg of calcium per day. Apparently, “surveys have shown that average women in the United States are consuming less than 500 milligrams of calcium per day.” I don’t drink milk, so I wouldn’t have been surprised if my number was very low as well. However, by keeping track of things yesterday, I found calcium in surprising places! Small amounts, yes, but every little bit adds up.

Here’s my list:


  • 2 tbsp 2% milk (in my tea) - ~41 mg
  • 1 cup Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt - 150 mg
  • 1 slice havarti cheese (on 2 small multigrain rolls, which had no measurable calcium) - 100 mg
  • 1 peach - 9 mg (I was surprised by this!)
  • Women's One-a-Day Multi-Vitamin - 450 mg


  • 1 package peanut butter crackers - 20 mg
  • ~8 baby carrots - 91 mg (also surprising!)
  • (Sadly, my chocolate covered pretzels do not imbue me with any calcium.)


  • 2 slices wheat bread - 80 mg
  • 1 slice cheese - 100 mg
  • (Turkey apparently provides no calcium.)
  • Apple - 10 mg
  • Almond Nut-Thins crackers (16, a serving) - 20 mg


  • Flat Iron Steak - 10 mg
  • Baked Potato - 68 mg
  • Sour cream and cheese on said baked potato - 10 mg, 81 mg
  • Sauteed mushrooms - 3 mg!
  • Slice of cheesecake - 64 mg
  • Berries on cheesecake (straw- and blue-) - 20 mg, 8.9 mg (although I probably ate less than the serving size indicated by those numbers)

According to this record, I consumed 1,335.9 mg of calcium yesterday (although if you subtract my mutli-vitamin it was only 885.9). I don’t feel like I ate differently than I normally would have, so I think this is a pretty fair reflection, even if some of the amounts are a bit inflated.

Some things I learned:

  • It's a good thing I eat yogurt, because it has a lot of calcium.
  • A lot of fruits and veggies have calcium in them; taking that into account along with all their other nutrients,it's  no wonder they're so good for you!
  • Cheesecake has a lot of calcium, but I probably shouldn't rely on eating it every day.
  • I need my multi-vitamin, because I would be lacking, at least in the calcium department, if I didn't take it.

Today and from now on it’ll be back to my regularly scheduled programming of not keeping track of my calcium intake. But I feel like this was a really interesting exercise, and I have some good thoughts on how to mentally make sure I’m getting enough, without keeping an exhaustive list. Strong bones and teeth for the win!

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman