Do You Know If Your Child Has Strong Bones?
Guest Blogger: Laura from About A Mom
Do you know if your child has strong bones? One of the first things that come to mind when hearing this question is the ‘Got Milk’ campaign. We’ve all seen the commercials and advertisement encouraging the consumption of cow’s milk. But is drinking milk enough to ensure that my children will grow up with strong bones?
I know that a minimum of three daily servings of low-fat dairy products is recommended as part of a healthy diet. Milk is a great source of calcium, a key building block for strong, healthy bones. However, I don’t believe that cow’s milk alone is enough to build strong bones. A diet with lots of vitamin rich fruit and vegetables will also promote bone health. Vitamin C is essential for making collagen, the connective tissue that minerals cling to when bone is formed, and Vitamin K is known to stimulate bone formation. Potassium decreases the loss of calcium from the body, making fruits and vegetables an important part of strong bone health.
Making sure that the kids have a lot of calcium rich snacks available is important in our house. Low-fat yogurt and string cheese are great snacks. I also like to add a second piece of low-fat cheese to the children’s sandwiches and serve pudding made with milk for dessert. Encouraging the older kids to drink milk instead of soda is something I have to stay on top of. However, a glass of warm skim milk at bedtime is always appreciated.
Did you know that low-fat and fat-free dairy products have the same amount of calcium and other nutrients as the full fat options? For the longest time I was under the assumption that even my older kids needed to drink full fat milk. I have since learned that cutting back on the fat won’t lessen the nutritional value of dairy products.
Do I think my children have strong bones? I feel pretty confident answering yes to this question. I try to stay informed about their nutritional needs and make sure that they are eating plenty of calcium-rich dairy, fruits and vegetables. Also, keeping the right foods readily available for snacking really seems to help.