Strong bones are an important but often neglected aspect of our overall health. Building strong bones during childhood is especially important because it lays the foundation for healthy bones in later years. Here are some things you can do to help boost your child’s bone building power.
- Get them outsideModern kids are often stuck indoors in front of the tv, ipad or on their smart phones. While technology for entertainment is fine in moderation, it shouldn’t take the place of good old fashioned outdoor play. Fresh air and sunshine does wonders for your child’s health and this is true for bones too. That’s because vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is an essential nutrient that increases calcium absorption and strengthens the skeleton. Vitamin D forms in the skin when we’re exposed to sunlight,1 so make sure your kids get a little bit of time in the sun each day.
- Jump aroundPhysical activity and exercise are important in promoting the overall health of your child. It also improves the amount of bone they build during childhood.2 The best types of exercise for growing bones are weight bearing exercises ‐ those where your feet and legs carry your own weight. Examples include running, jumping and skipping.3
- Boost their calcium intakeCalcium is extremely important for bone growth. However, more than half of Australian children between the ages of 9 and 16 years of age don’t get enough in their daily diet. The best food sources of calcium are dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt. It’s recommended that children two to eight years of age have between one and a half to two serves of calcium rich foods every day. For kids nine and above, approximately three to four serves is the daily recommendation.3,4