Bone is living, growing tissue so it’s important to start building bone mass early so kids stay strong through adulthood. You may already know that drinking milk is a good way to get the calcium your child’s bones need, but there are many other ways – both through diet and exercise – to build strong, healthy bones.
Weight-bearing exercise helps to improve bone mineral density and prevents future breaks by stressing your bones and making them grow stronger. So what counts as weight-bearing exercise?
- Start the day with five push-ups, and gradually increase the number as you get stronger
- Head out for a hike on the weekend along one of Boston’s trails
- Try a yoga class or a yoga DVD from the comfort of your home
- Turn up the music and have a dance party in your living room
- Use cans of soup or beans as hand weights and lift while you’re preparing dinner
- Take a walk or jog together as a family after dinner
What your children eats also plays a key role in building strong bones for life. Help your family to eat a diet that is rich in several key nutrients: magnesium, zinc vitamin D, and calcium. Follow these tips to get your children on the path to strong bones:
- Use yogurt as a base for dipping sliced fruit or veggies for a boost of calcium
- If your children drink juice, try 100% orange juice fortified with vitamin D and calcium
- Mix nuts and seeds for a home-made trail mix that is rich in zinc
- Use plenty of dark, leafy greens in salads; top with pinto or kidney beans for added magnesium
Follow Healthy Family Fun’s simple strategies for bone health and tell us your family’s favorite in the comments section below!