Are you aware just how crucial it is to take care of your children’s bones while they’re still young? Childhood is an important time for bone development. This is when the skeleton consistently grows in size and density.
Bones are made of living tissue that changes all the time. Old bone bits are removed and replaced with new ones. Bone mass, the amount of tissue in the skeleton, reaches its peak, lending the bones maximum strength and density, between the ages of 18 to 25. This is why childhood and adolescence are the time to invest in bone health.
It’s pretty hard to grasp the direness of bone health when they’re still little and their bones are more flexible and resilient to shock. Osteoporosis is not anywhere the top of the list of health issues to worry about.
Still, you want to make sure that their bones are strong, keeping up with your children’s height and weight growth. They should be efficient in their job of providing strength, balance, and support for the body. Children certainly need strong bones to enjoy physical activity.
What can you do to make your kids’ bones strong? Having healthy habits covers a lot of ground, including bone development. Two of the essentials of a healthy lifestyle are proper nutrition and physical fitness.
How do you make sure that you feed them bone-friendly foods? You start with a balanced diet, of course, but to specifically target your children’s bone development, give them good sources of calcium and vitamin D.
Young bones absorb minerals really quickly, so you have to make sure that you give your children a steady supply of the nutrients their bones need. This is why they start out feeding on milk. Healthy bone development is one of the most important benefits of milk for kids.
Other calcium-rich foods you should regularly feature in the menu include dairy, canned fish with soft bones such as sardines and salmon, green leafy veggies (excluding spinach), peas, figs, nuts, seeds, and calcium-fortified soy food products.
Vitamin D is a bit trickier as far as nutrients go. It is essential to bones because it helps the body absorb calcium. The vitamin itself is made from cholesterol in our skin while exposed to sunlight.
There are several considerations in going out in the sun to get vitamin D. What are these?
There are very few good food sources of vitamin D. These are cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, sardines, swordfish, beef liver, and egg yolks. You’d need to give these almost every day to make sure your kids get vitamin D from food.
You have to compound good nutrition with regular exercise. To encourage strong bones, make sure your kids engage in the following:
It’s crucial that your children understand the importance of maintaining healthy bones. This is something that they will imbibe from you. If you demonstrate appropriate care for your own bones, they will learn to follow your example.