Good Bone Health for Kids

Bone and Joint Health for Active Families

Kids who play outside are not only having fun they are also building a foundation for good bone health! Staying active and having a nutritious diet are critical for building strong bones and maintaining a healthy body weight. This active lifestyle can also support mental and behavioral health too. Unfortunately, many children and adolescents are spending more screen time on video games, tablets, computers and electronic devices during the pandemic.

Did You Know?

The more bone mass created during childhood and adolescence the greater the chance of preventing osteoporosis (brittle and weak bones) and related fractures later in life? As a child grows, their bones are made and then constantly reshaped to keep its function. Up to 90 percent of peak bone mass is acquired in girls by age 18 and in boys by age 20. Childhood the absolute best time to build a foundation in bone health through proper nutrition and exercise.

Get Moving

  • Parents and grandparents can be an active role model by joining their children on a bike ride, shooting basketball hoops, or going on a long walk.
  • Activities like dancing, stair climbing, tennis, hiking and skiing are good exercise, fun, while honoring social distancing too.
  • Stay active for at least 30 minutes (preferably 45 minutes) each day. You can break it into smaller activity sessions such as: 15 minutes of walking; 15 minutes of sprints; and 15 minutes of yoga.
  • Keep a daily activity log of minutes spent on exercise and activity on a fitness application.
  • Cleaning is exercise too! Rake your yard, cut the grass, walk your neighbor's dog, plant a garden, sweep the house, clean the garage…or make your dog happy by throwing him a ball and give him a bath.

Healthy Diet Tips

When kids and teens get enough calcium and physical activity, they are preparing their future adult lives with the strongest bones possible. For the best bone health, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends:

1 to 3 years old — 700 mg of calcium daily
4 to 8 years old — 1,000 mg of calcium daily
9 to 18 years old — 1,300 mg of calcium daily

Besides getting enough calcium, they also should get 600 IU of vitamin D daily. If you think your kids aren’t getting the nutrients needed, talk to your health care provider about changing their diet or using vitamin supplements.

  • Calcium can also be found in cheese, and green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli.
  • Avoid sodas and carbonated beverages. Sodas decrease calcium absorption in the intestines and contain empty calories. Milk, calcium-fortified juices and water are great alternatives.
  • Serve low-fat or fat-free frozen yogurt topped with fruit.
  • Make parfaits with layers of plain yogurt, fruit, and whole-grain cereal.
  • Give kids a glass of cold milk to wash down a couple of graham crackers.
  • Tops healthy snacks with low-fat cheese.
  • Top salads or cereals with slivered almonds and chickpeas.
  • Buy calcium-fortified foods, including breads and cereals.

Accidents Happen

Playing hard can sometimes result in accidental slips and falls requiring medical attention. Dr. Andrew Martin, and his dedicated staff, are ready to help treat trauma injuries. Call their Las Vegas office to schedule an appointment at (702) 898-2663. Most insurances accepted. Cash payment options available. Hablamos español.

“Keep Moving…Life’s Waiting”

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