By: Lisa Perry, RDN, Lisa Perry Nutrition, email@example.com
October 19 is World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day. Too often, bone and joint health are subjects we only think about as we age. However, adolescence is the time for building peak bone mass. Ninety percent of peak bone mass develops by age 18 for girls and age 20 for boys.
Good nutrition during adolescence plays a key role in ensuring bone mass develops. Calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K are important nutrients for bone health. A well-balanced diet will include these nutrients, but here is a shortlist of sources:
Calcium: dairy, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese; non-dairy food sources include broccoli, almonds, kale, turnip greens, and figs.
Vitamin D: the sunshine vitamin! Our bodies use sunshine to make vitamin D, naturally. Short periods of sun exposure are beneficial, but, in northern climates, sun exposure is limited during the winter months. Small amounts of vitamin D are found in fatty fish, like salmon, and egg yolks. Talk to your pediatrician before supplementing with vitamin D.
Magnesium: found in many foods, including, avocado, beans, nuts, dairy, chicken and many more.
Vitamin K: leafy greens, such as kale, cabbage, broccoli and turnip greens.
Physical activity plays a vital role in building and maintaining bone mass, too. Learn more about bone-building activities for your child from a physical therapist or physician.