Children and Bone health- the concerns of fussy eating and lack of exercise in children and young adults!

If there is one thing that concerns us at the practice, more than many other issues, it is bone health in children and young adults.

It is vital that during childhood through to early adulthood, our youngsters maximise their bone strength. When the skeleton is still growing, the body needs support to bank bone supplies before we start to age, which brings about an inevitable loss of density.

To enable bone building to occur, it is so important that your kids/teens are undertaking regular weight-bearing exercise and eating a diet that is well balanced and has enough calcium within it.

It doesn’t really matter what weight bearing exercise they choose, be it football to aerobics or skipping, just encourage them to get up and jump around. It is important though that the exercise is weight-bearing for maximum bone building to occur.

Diet needs to be well-balanced and contain fruit; vegetable; carbohydrates; protein and enough calcium too. Trying to limit intake of processed foods, sugary foods and fizzy drinks will also help. We all appreciate just how fussy kids and teens can be, but there are many ways of getting fruit; vegetables and essential nutrients into their diets. Smoothies, juices, and blended fresh sauces can be used to disguise many things. It is a case of embracing creativity and perhaps sometimes leading by example too. It can also help, especially with young children, to involve them in purchasing, preparing and cooking the food they eat. The aim is to get them to try different flavours and textures to broaden their food choices in later life. If you are following a specific dietary choice such as veganism, it is crucial that your youngsters are provided with all their vital vitamins and minerals as well as calcium. If needed, supplements should be added to assist this.

Lack of outdoors time in the sunshine can also limit vitamin D levels which is essential for bone development.  Low levels can be supplemented with a good quality vitamin D spray or tablet and nutritionally from oily fish and other dietary additions.

To find out more about bone building and what you can do to help your child or teen, call the practice and speak to our team. Between our therapists we can offer nutritional and supplementation advice, exercise programmes to suit all levels and hands on physical treatments too. Call 01903 820206 or see our website at worthingosteopathy.com for more information.