Bone Health for Children
Children Bone Health
When it comes to bone health and talking about the importance of strong bones, we typically think of people in adulthood. However, bone health is extremely important in early childhood. When we lay a solid foundation for bone health for children, then we can help contribute to healthier bones in adulthood.
Children and teens build most of their bone density at an early age. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 90 percent of peak bone mass is acquired by the age of 18 in girls and the age of 20 in boys. Children with low bone mineral density can be at a greater risk of bone fractures. There are a few things that parents can do to help their children invest in their bone health.
Encourage exercise for your children. Just as muscles get stronger when they are used, so do bones. Activities like walking, running, jumping, and climbing are very important in building good bone health. These are considered weight-bearing activities that put pressure on the bones, which makes the body build stronger bones. Making sure children get at least one hour of physical activity a day, including weight-bearing exercises, is great for their overall body health.
Developing good eating habits to support bone health should start at an early age. One mineral in particular that is great for bone support is Calcium. Calcium is necessary for building bones and should be an integral part of a child’s diet.
Calcium can be found in the following foods:
- Cottage Cheese
Vitamin D is calcium’s best friend! It helps the body with absorbing calcium. Most children can get Vitamin D from the sun, but there are also foods that can help as well.
Some of the following foods are great providers of Vitamin D:
- Fortified dairy products
- Oily fish
However, if your child is a picky eater and it’s hard to get them to eat these foods, a Vitamin D supplement is a good solution. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about the proper dose of Vitamin D for your child and the best way to get it.
Promoting healthy habits for your children is a crucial step in helping them become healthy adults! Practicing regular diet and exercise routines within the whole family is a great way to bond as a family as well as ensure your children are meeting their body’s needs. Start today by talking with your provider about bone health for your children!
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