Boosting your child's bone health: the most important ways and tips


Boosting your child's bone health: the most important ways and tips

It is very important to promote the child’s bone health from an early age, and this requires attention to his lifestyle, with a focus on the diverse food sources of various nutrients.

Boosting your child's bone health: the most important ways and tips

Your child's bones grow faster in early adulthood and into adulthood. Bone density continues to grow further until it reaches what is known as "maximum bone density", which usually occurs between the ages of 18 and 25.

Introduction to baby bone development

The more bone thickens the bone at peak density, the greater the bone reserves to protect against osteoporosis later in life.

Doctors say you continue to have the reserves of bone that your body makes during childhood and the teen years through early adulthood. We also begin to lose bone density later in life.

If your bone density is low, you are more likely to develop osteoporosis sooner, but the good news is that you can protect your child's bone health with some simple lifestyles!

Diet is the basis

Building strong bones in childhood requires a set of vitamins and minerals. A healthy and balanced diet may provide this, and this means a diet that contains the following:

Fruits and vegetables: at least five tablets per day (and no more than 150ml of fruit juice).
Carbohydrate-containing items: such as potatoes, pasta, rice, and bread (preferably made from whole wheat kernels).
Proteins: such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds.                                       
Dairy products: such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Important nutritional supplements and elements: 2 in particular!

There are a couple of nutrients that are especially important for building strong, healthy bones and they are:

1- Calcium for building bones

Our bodies contain 1 kilogram of calcium and about 99% of that amount is in our bones and teeth, which makes them strong and hard. We get most of the calcium during childhood and adolescence. 

Calcium is especially important during puberty when bones grow faster than in any other period, and puberty occurs over several years, usually between the ages of 11 to 15 for females and from 12 to 16 for males.

The recommended amount of calcium:

For children and young people between the ages of 11 to 18 years, it is 800 - 1,000 g.
For adults, it reaches 700 grams.

But research shows that the average number of children and young adults in this age group do not get enough calcium.

Adolescents need large amounts of calcium because they are in the stage of growth, although people believe in the importance of bone health in adolescents as much as they believe in young children, the bones in adolescents grow much more.

Among the foods that contain a lot of calcium:

Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Plus canned sardines (with bones).
Green and leafy vegetables (except spinach).
Peas, dried figs, nuts, seeds, and soy.

2- Vitamin D for the health of your children's bones

Vitamin D is important for bones because it helps our bones absorb calcium. The main source of vitamin D is sunlight, which is done through the skin when exposed to the sun during the summer months.

There are also a few foods that contain beneficial amounts of vitamin D, and these foods include oily fish, eggs, and foods rich in vitamin D such as cheese and foods containing grains.

Children under five are one of the age groups in which vitamin D levels are most likely to be below.

Therefore, it is recommended that children aged from six months to five years of age be given vitamin D supplements daily.

If you are breastfeeding, it is recommended that you give him doses of vitamin D immediately after birth. The milk replacer also contains enough vitamin D to support your baby's bone health in the first six months.

For those over the age of five, it is preferable to choose vitamin D supplements specially designed for them, and vitamin D supplements should contain 7-8.5 micrograms (ie 300 units), other supplements may not contain the correct amount.

Sunlight and children's bone health

Sunlight is the primary and natural source of Vitamin D. Regular exposure to sunlight without sunscreen between May and September is sufficient for most people to get the vitamin D they need.

As exposure to the sun for a period ranging between 10-15 minutes is often sufficient for children with light skin, and children with dark skin will need to spend a longer period in the sun to produce the same amount of vitamin D.

You must never allow your child's skin to get red or burn, and children under six months of age should not be exposed to direct sunlight.

Bone-strengthening exercises for children

Daily physical activity is essential to the health and development of children as well as the health of their bones, so try to prevent your children from sitting for long periods.

You can do this by reducing the amount of time they spend sitting, for example watching TV or playing video games.

Children under five who have not yet walked should be encouraged to play actively on the floor.

Children who can walk on their own should do daily physical activity for at least 180 minutes (3 hours) spread throughout the day. This should include orthopedic activities such as climbing and jumping.

Children between five and 18 years of age need to do at least 60 minutes (1 hour) of physical activity per day, which should include moderate-intensity activity such as cycling and children's games.

Strength activities should be practiced at least three times a week to strengthen muscles and bones. These activities may include swinging on playground equipment and sports such as gymnastics, tennis, jumping, and jumping rope. 

Eating disorders and bone health

Eating disorders affect people of all age groups, both males and females, but girls and women are more affected and anorexia is common in adolescence.

Since your bones are still growing and getting stronger during this period, eating disorders such as anorexia may affect bone growth, and weight loss may affect estrogen levels, which may lead to a decrease in bone density.

The malnutrition and lack of bone-causing eating disorders force may also reduce bone density.

If you find that your teenage children have anorexia or other symptoms of an eating disorder, it is important to seek medical advice about their bone health.

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