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Calcium and vitamin D


Good bone health is all about eating the right foods

Be sure to eat foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D.

Calcium and vitamin D rich foods


Dairy foods are a great source of calcium. Three servings a day from the dairy food group will
help you have healthy bones.

These foods are good sources of calcium:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Pudding
  • Ice cream
  • Yogurt (including frozen yogurt)

If dairy is not for you or if you want to eat a variety of calcium rich foods, here are some foods to include in your diet:

  • Green vegetables, such as kale, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach, and broccoli
  • Dried beans and peas, like pinto beans, white beans, baked beans, and black eyed peas
  • Nuts, like almonds and walnuts, and foods cooked with nuts in them, like breads and cakes
  • Fish that is canned with bones, like salmon and sardines
  • Fruits, like dried figs, papayas, oranges, prunes, and raisins

Since some of these foods have smaller amounts of calcium per serving than milk be sure to include more servings of these each day.

You can also try foods that have calcium added to them, such as juices, cereals, cereal bars, waffles, pancakes, bread, rice milk, tofu, and soy products, like soy milk.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is also needed to help keep our bones healthy. Be sure to include some of these foods in your diet:

  • Vitamin D fortified milk, orange juice, margarine, or yogurt
  • Egg yolks
  • Cereal with vitamin D added
  • Cooked salmon or mackerel
  • Canned tuna and sardines
  • Fish that is canned with the bones, like salmon, or sardines
  • Cod liver oil

Interesting fact about vitamin D

Did you know you can get vitamin D from the sun? The body uses sunlight that shines on the skin to make vitamin D. So, try to take a walk in the sunshine to get in some vitamin D. Talk to your doctor for more information about getting vitamin D by spending time in the sun.


To learn more about increasing calcium and vitamin D in your diet, talk to your St. Jude dietitian.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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