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Build your child's some strong bones

Posted on Sep 01, 2008 by Maggie LaBarbera

I just read a little fact that 90% of girls and 75% of boys between 9 and 13 years old do not get the recommended amount of calcium, according to the National osteoporosis Foundation.

Calcium is so important for growing bones and for preventing osteoporosis, a disease that causes your bones to lose mass. Essentially, the bones are not as strong and break easier. I pay attention to this because my mom has osteoporosis.

So, first, do you know how much calcium your child needs? Here is a quick reference

Male and Female Age Calcium (mg/day)

  • 0 to 6 months -210mg/day
  • 7 to 12 months -270mg/day
  • 1 to 3 years -500mg/day
  • 4 to 8 years -800mg/day
  • 9 to 13 years - 1300mg/day
  • 14 to 18 years -1300mg/day
  • 19 to 50 years -1000mg/day
  • 51+ years -1200mg/day
Always check with your doctor or nutritionist as special conditions may require different amounts. I have to take 1500 mg per day because of my family history of osteoporosis.

Food sources include: milk (nonfat or lowfat is best because of the lower fat content), yogurt, cheese, green leafy vegetables such as kale, collards, mustard greens, and turnip greens. There are also many new foods coming out that are being fortified with calcium like many juices. So read the label.

Calcium needs vitamin to help absorb it into the bones so try to find foods that have both.

But here is something you may not know. Some healthy oriented food manufacturers are adding special ingredients to help give the body an added boost in absorbing this important mineral. Barbara's Bakery recently re-launched their cereals with the added health benefits of NutraFlora, a natural prebiotic fiber. NutraFlora has certain properties that help the body to significantly improve calcium absorption.

Oh, and bones need exercise. They actually get stronger with activities like jumping, running, dancing etc. So get those bones bouncing around. That includes us grown-ups, especially women since we are at a higher risk for osteoporosis then men.





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