Healthy Living

Calcium: Shopping List

A family buys groceries.

Many Americans don't get enough calcium. Your body needs calcium to build strong bones and help prevent osteoporosis (bone loss).

One good way to get enough calcium is to eat more dairy or fortified soy versions of dairy products. You can also get calcium through foods fortified with calcium and through vegetables like spinach or broccoli. Also look for foods that are high in vitamin D, which helps your body absorb (take in) calcium. 

Take the list below with you the next time you go food shopping.


Look for fat-free or low-fat dairy products or fortified soy versions of dairy products. Try:

  • Fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk
  • Fat-free or low-fat yogurt (choose options with no added sugars)
  • Low-fat cheese (3 grams of fat or less per serving)
  • Fortified soy beverages (soy milk) or soy yogurt

If you’re lactose intolerant (have trouble digesting milk), try low-lactose or lactose-free dairy products.


You can also get calcium from vegetables like:

  • Soybeans (edamame)
  • Collard greens
  • Spinach
  • Turnip greens
  • Bok choy
  • Kale
  • Broccoli

If you buy canned vegetables, check the Nutrition Facts label and choose the option with the least sodium.

If you buy frozen vegetables, choose veggies without butter or cream sauces.

Foods with Added Calcium

Check the Nutrition Facts label to look for foods that have 20% or more Daily Value (DV) of calcium added, like:

  • Breakfast cereal
  • Tofu
  • 100% orange juice
  • Plant-based milk alternatives — like soy, almond, or oat milks

Foods with Vitamin D

Also be sure to look for foods with Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body absorb (take in) calcium. You can get vitamin D from:

  • Many types of fish — like salmon, tuna, and trout
  • Milk, soy milk, or other plant-based milks with added vitamin D
  • Some breakfast cereals, yogurts, and juices with added vitamin D

Check the Nutrition Facts label to see how much vitamin D is in a food. Look for foods with 20% DV or more of vitamin D.

Find more foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D:

Content last updated August 30, 2023

Reviewer Information

This information on calcium was adapted from materials from the Office of Dietary Supplements and the Office on Women’s Health.

Reviewed by:
Dennis Anderson-Villaluz, MBA, RDN, LDN, FAND
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Public Health Service
Nutrition Advisor, Division of Prevention Science
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Dana DeSilva
ORISE Health Policy Fellow
Office of Disease Prevention and Promotion

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