The term osteoporosis is something most of us recognize as a disease that causes breakdown of our bones. The problem is that we associate this disease with older individuals, but did you know the prevention of this disease actually starts in childhood when the bones are going through periods of growth and development? In today’s fast-paced world, how can you help your children achieve “BoneGevity”, or build strong bones that will last for a lifetime?
As a dietitian, I understand that calcium, potassium, and vitamin D are important for bone health, but as a dad to 3 children, I recognize the challenges that life presents parents. How do we provide our children with healthy, balanced, and enjoyable options with all the after school activities, homework, sporting events and everything else that goes with being a parent?
#1: Drink milk with every meal and have water throughout the day. Three servings of milk will provide your kids the calcium and vitamin D their bodies need without the extra sugar and calories from other drinks that their growing bodies don’t need. A recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics supports and encourages this recommendation, so start with a glass of milk in the morning at home or with school breakfast, with lunch and with dinner. As a parent you should also consider doing this to achieve your own “BoneGevity” and ensure you get the calcium and vitamin D your bones need to stay strong and healthy for your lifetime!
#2: Keep things simple! Follow the MyPlate guidelines and fill your plate with fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and don’t forget the dairy! My kids love to sprinkle cheese over their broccoli at dinner, have Greek yogurt for breakfast and make a fruit smoothie made with milk for a snack– and I love it because it helps them build and maintain strong bones!
Building strong bones is as easy and delicious as enjoying milk and other dairy foods as part of a healthy diet and maintaining an active lifestyle!
Paul Moore (Dietitian Dad) is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and father of 3 who believes in a family centered approach to feeding children and learning how to develop a positive relationship with food! Connect with Paul on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook where food, family, and future is the focus!