University of Illinois Extension

Using Food Labels to Boost Calcium Intake

The Nutrition Facts Label can help you know how much calcium you are getting in your daily food intake. While the number of milligrams of calcium is not listed on the Nutrition Facts Label, the label does tell you what percentage of your daily requirement the food contains based on consuming 2,000 calories.

The Nutrition Facts Label illustrated here shows that the pudding cup contains 10 percent of your daily calcium requirement or about 100 milligrams. While this may not be a significant amount of calcium, it does help you meet your daily need of 1200 milligrams if you are over age 50.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 pudding cup (99g)
Servings per container 4
Amount per serving
Calories 120 Calories from fat 30
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.5 g 5%
Saturated Fat 2 g 9%
Trans Fat 0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 130mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 16g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 10% Iron 0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
         

(to figure milligrams of calcium take the %DV and multiply by 10)

You can also look at the front of the food label. The terms Good Source of Calcium and Excellent Source of Calcium are regulated. That means the food has to have between 100 and 190 mg calcium per serving if the label says Good Source of Calcium, and more than 200 mg per serving for the food to be labeled as an Excellent Source of Calcium.

Here are a couple of activities to help you better know your food:

Activity: How Does Your Food Rate?

Activity: Know Your Calcium Sources