Help your children build strong bones

Tips for building strong bones in kids:

  1. Increased Calcium Intake- low fat or non-fat milk, cheeses, yogurt, cottage, cheese, broccoli, mustard greens, etc.
  2. Increased Vitamin D Intake - One of vitamin D's roles is to increases calcium absorption in the body. One of the best ways for your child to absorb vitamin D is to allow them to be exposed to the sun's UVB rays for 15 minutes per day on their hands and feet. Milk is also a great source of vitamin D.
  3. Fractures Can be Prevented by Maintaining Healthy Weight - Government researchers found overweight children were more likely to suffer a fracture, even though theoretically their bones should be hardier from carrying more weight. Researchers theorize that overweight children might have poorer balance or may fall harder.
  4. Best Bone Building Exercise - JUMP ROPE - Jumping is so effective because it stresses the bones causing the bones' building cells to turn on. It is recommended that kids get at least an hour of physical activity a day. So kids can jump rope for 10-15 minutes, followed by playing sport or even running.
  5. Involve the entire family in exercise and intake of calcium rich foods.
Additional Tips from GOT MILK? and the Safe Kids Campaign:
  1. Before participating in a sport or athletic camp, children should receive physical exams from their pediatrician to determine their general health.
  2. Children should always wear sport-specific properly fitting safety gear when participating in sports-related activities.
  3. Make sure children are enrolled in the proper age-group or skill level of their particular activity.
  4. Make sure kids play in a safe environment like rinks, courts, fields, etc. that are free from debris or cracks that could cause injury.
  5. Provide children with the adequate training or exercises when learning a new sport.

Jo Ann Hattner MPH, RD
Hattner is a nutrition consultant with Stanford University Medical School and owner of Hattner/Coulston Nutrition LLC in San Francisco California. She has extensive experience in clinical nutrition at Packard Children's Hospital and Stanford Hospital and Clinics.

At Stanford University School of Medicine she is the developer, instructor, and content writer for their on line nutrition course, a NIH Nutrition Academic Award Program.

As a nutrition consultant she advises industry and trade associations within the food/agricultural sector on public policy, food safety, new product development and e-commerce.

Hattner is co-author of the book Help! My Underwear is Shrinking! published by the American Diabetes Association. The book offers a unique treatment plan for overweight pre-diabetic women.

She is presently writing a consumer book on probiotics and prebiotics for digestive health and well being.

She often lectures to professional organizations; health professionals, students and community based agencies on hot topics in nutrition. She has extensive training in media relations and she is often quoted in the national press as a nutrition expert.

Hattner earned her master's degree of public health from the University of California, Berkeley and her bachelor's degree in science from the University of Idaho, Moscow. She completed her dietetic internship at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco. She is the recipient of the 2003 Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Idaho.

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