Bone health constitutes a crucial aspect of a child’s physical well-being. During childhood and adolescence, bones undergo significant growth, becoming larger and stronger. This period is marked by rapid bone density development, which halts around the ages of 18 to 25, commonly referred to as reaching the stage of “peak bone mass”. By the time a child reaches 18 or undergoes puberty, approximately 90% of their bone mass is already established.
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Encouraging proper nutrition stands as one of the most crucial lifelong habits for maintaining bone health. Nourishing bones entails adopting a well-rounded diet abundant in calcium and vitamin D-rich foods, both pivotal for bone strength. Furthermore, a balanced diet plays a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy weight range for children, which in turn, contributes to overall bone health. Children who develop strong bones early on are more likely to ward off bone weakness in later stages of life.
Here Are 5 Essential Foods For Children To Promote Their Bone Development:
This dairy product is an excellent source of calcium and phosphorous, crucial minerals for the development of strong bones, teeth, and nails. Additionally, milk is fortified with vitamin D, another essential nutrient for overall bone health. It also provides a range of other nutrients vital for growth, including protein, zinc, and vitamins A, B2 (riboflavin), and B12.
A daily serving of yogurt can contribute significantly to a child’s calcium and vitamin D intake. It’s naturally rich in both of these nutrients, supporting bone health.
This leafy green vegetable is a powerhouse of protein, calcium, vitamins, and essential minerals, all of which contribute to stronger bones. Consuming just one cup of spinach covers about one-fourth of the daily calcium requirement.
4. Collard Greens:
Vegetables like collard greens, along with others such as broccoli and kale, play a role in fortifying bones.
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Dry fruits and nuts are excellent sources of calcium and vitamin D, providing essential support for bone health.
Varieties like black beans, edamame, pinto beans, and kidney beans are rich sources of bone-building nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.
7. Fortified Juices and Whole-Grain Cereals:
Certain fortified foods like cereals and juices can offer even higher levels of calcium compared to leafy greens like kale.
Ensuring proper nutrition for bone health in children is a foundational step towards their overall well-being. A diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, protein, and essential minerals from sources like milk, yogurt, leafy greens, nuts, and legumes contributes significantly to the development of strong bones. By prioritizing these nutrient-dense foods, we empower our children to build a solid foundation for a healthy and active future.
About the author: Dr. Kashmiri Badpadeis a Pediatrician in Kolhapur.