Osteoporosis is a disease that we usually associate with people past retirement age but the fact is that the prevention of this bone disease begins far before old age is even reached.
In order to give your kids the best possible chance of managing their risk of osteoporosis, you must ensure that you’re doing all that you can to support good health, which will in turn work to help their bones. It’s a fact that their bone density may decrease, but if there is a solid foundation of healthy bones to begin with, you’ll find that it’s far easier to mitigate any possible risks of osteoporosis. After all, there are many things that people can do at every stage of their life to build strong and healthy bones. For instance, not many people know that childhood and adolescence are so vital to the later years of bone health, but by building good habits early – like taking organic calcium supplements or eating a high calcium diet – you create the foundation for strong bones later in life.
Bones grow throughout childhood, and your child’s skeleton will gain mass and strength which will go on to support them as they run, play and grow into healthy adults. It’s a little known fact, but the amount of bone mass you attain while you are young will determine the health of your skeleton for the rest of your life! Therefore, it makes sense to say that the stronger your kids’ bone mass, the less likely they are to struggle with the loss of bone mass later in life.
Nutrition is vital
The nutrition that your kids get every day is vital for their growth and development. Healthy bodies, brains and skeletons are made through the food that is taken in by them every day, and if they’re getting the right food, they’ll have a great chance of developing into strong individuals. Like all tissue, bone needs enough calories and enough calcium to grow. Sadly, not everyone follows a diet that is going to be the best for bone health – for example, a recommended calcium intake for children aged between nine and eighteen years old is 1,300 mg/day (with an intake of 1,000 mg/day for kids between four and eight). Many kids aren’t meeting this intake, and so they’re missing out on the formative years of development.
Calcium is vital – but what else is?
As we’ve seen, the presence of calcium in the diet of your kids is vital for them to reach peak bone mass, and it works to prevent and treat osteoporosis. As calcium isn’t made in the body, it has to be absorbed from the foods that we eat. Plus, in order for our bodies to be able to absorb the calcium, there needs to be Vitamin D present as well. You can get Vitamin D from diet and also from the exposure to sunlight as it’s absorbed through the skin. Diseases like ‘rickets’ (a softening of the bones) developed from a lack of Vitamin D – but thanks now to the presence of fortified milks and calcium supplements, it’s far less common.
Are your kids getting enough?
Thanks to fortified milk, most infants and kids in the United States are meeting their Vitamin D requirements – but adolescents are not consuming as much dairy as their younger counterparts and so it’s vital that you encourage and promote the intake of dairy for your adolescents.
Making a conscious effort to ensure that your kids are getting enough calcium and Vitamin D is going to be a huge service to their health, wellbeing and quality of life as they age. With bone health playing such an important role, it’s vital that you put their health first, get supplements for them if you fear that they aren’t getting enough calcium and promote their health as a priority for their lives.
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