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Importance of Calcium in Child's Diet

Improving the bone health

· FOOD,WELLNESS

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of NUTRITION is - "the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth.” It is the nourished ailment and the supply of food that is a necessary factor for human beings to stay alive, and proper nutrition for the bones is a very significant factor. Bones form the frame structure of your body, and adequate food for bones should always be kept in perspective because what we eat eventually affects the bone mass of our body. When it comes to children, every parent becomes careful regarding the proper food and diet for their kids.

Well, kids are like molding clay. They go through the phase of life when growth is a consistent factor along with learning, and for proper growth, a balanced diet is an essential component that incorporates all food groups resembling a food pyramid.

 

But these days, what we find is the lack of calcium in kids, which severely affects their bone health thus causing them to weaken, and creates various bone health issues like a fracture, osteoporosis (a fragile bone disease), etc.

Well, for the strengthening of bones, it is essential for your kid's diet to have the right amount of calcium content. Some good sources of calcium are:

  •          Milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products.
  •          Green vegetables.
  •          Nuts, pulses, and cereals.
  •          Bread (with fortified flour)
  •          Dry Fruits.
  •          Soy Beans.

Info-graphic courtesy: Hospital for Special Surgery

So let’s have a quick look at some of the foods particularly, that will help you in improving and strengthening your kid’s bone health:

1. Milk

Milk is the crucial element in the kid's diet chart as it is rich in calcium, which is an essential factor for bone health. Eight ounce of milk provides 30% of calcium required on a daily basis. It gives structural agility to bones and helps the body to work for numerous other functions. Over the years, researchers have summed up their study to conclude that, everyday consumption of milk results in higher bone mineral density and adds to a great extent on the positive effect for the bone health.

 

But generally speaking, kids throw in a lot of tantrums while drinking milk, and when enforced, either the milk goes into the pot of your plant in the garden or the basin or flush. So parents need to provide the right kind of nutrition. All you can do is:

  • You can add chocolate syrup or any such flavors that are liked by your kid.
  • You can add a tablespoon of milk powder and sugar into the glass of milk.
  • You can add a small butter cube and a pinch of sugar.
  • Make sure your child drinks at least two glasses of milk daily.
  • You can go for fortified milk that comes in with vitamin D and has more benefits and is readily available in the market these days.

2. Broccoli

These cute, short trees looking vegetables aren’t definitely what kids prefer to have. But little do all of us know that broccoli contains a protein named osteocalcin which is high in fiber and contains low calories. It is also a good source for calcium and vitamin K. A diet that is rich in vitamin K lowers the risk of fractures.

 

Make sure to add in broccoli to your child’s diet, as they are easy appetizers. They may be served raw (in salad) or sauté with a pinch of salt and black pepper. You can even boil it to add in your child's white favorite pasta.

3. Green Leaves

Green Leaves are the most nutritious elements that not only help in improving bone health but also help in working for the overall development of an individual. They work as anti-oxidants and vitalize the complete system by reducing the risk for osteoporosis. They fortify bones and muscles and help in making them strong and durable.

Being a parent, you should make sure that your kids have green leafy vegetables into their plate every day. You can blanch them, stir fry them with cherry tomatoes or blend them to puree form and make out some exciting dish out of it by adding stir-fried vegetables into it.

4. Fresh Fruit Juice

Juices are again an essential component that a child should have at least once in a day. Fresh fruit juices vitalize the body functions and act as anti-oxidants. They provide a proper amount of calcium, minerals and other useful nutrients that help in maintaining the pH level of the blood and simultaneously assists in supplying all types of components that aid in bone strengthening.

Try to avoid packaged juices as they contain a lot of preservatives that don’t pose any benefits to health. It’s better to make whole fruit juices at the space of your own home and comfort with proper hygiene.

Conclusion:

 

Right nutrition and diet are the keys to good health. For kids, it is the foundation for a good life. Healthy eating benefits a kid in stabilizing energy, improving minds, helps them maintain weight, prevents the body from chronic diseases, etc. Concerning bone health, parents should be very mindful as bones set the frame structure of the body. As childhood is the peak period for bone development, the two factors that determine the bone health of a child are Proper Nutrition and Regular exercise. So, as parents, we should make sure that our kids have both of it.

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