Bones are the framework for children’s growing bodies. Childhood is arguably the most important time for bone development and health. Here are a few tips to help children’s bones develop healthily and ensure positive bone health in kids early on.
1. Feed kids high calcium foods
Calcium helps build healthy bones in kids. High calcium foods include dairy products, beans, and leafy green vegetables. Aim to give kids two to four servings of dairy per day to meet calcium needs. You can check recommended calcium intake numbers here. Additionally, many traditional foods have high calcium alternatives you can replace.
2. Give kids vitamin D supplements
Vitamin D (also known as vitamin D3) helps us to absorb calcium. Kids, like adults, can get vitamin D through food, sunlight and supplements. Make sure to use sunscreen when spending time in the sun to avoid skin cancer later in life. Kids from infants who are breastfed through adult age will benefit from vitamin D supplement.
3. Encourage kids to exercise
Bones, like muscles, get stronger the more we move them. Encourage kids to engage in weight-bearing activities such as walking, running, jumping and climbing. Aim for at least one hour of physical exercise per day for optimal kid’s bone health.
Good bone health in kids starts with their parents. Encourage your kids to consume high calcium foods, take vitamin D supplements and exercise daily. Always consult with your child’s pediatrician regarding health questions, concerns and guidelines.
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