Juvenile Bone Health Kids and Their Bones: A Guide for Parents

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How Can I Help Keep My Kids' Bones Healthy?

The same healthy habits that keep your kids going and growing will also benefit their bones. One of the best ways to encourage healthy habits in your children is to be a good role model yourself. Believe it or not, your kids are watching, and your habits, both good and bad, have a strong influence on theirs.

The two most important lifelong bone health habits to encourage now are proper nutrition and plenty of physical activity.

Eating for healthy bones means getting plenty of foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D. Most kids get enough vitamin D from sunlight (or from foods like egg yolks or fortified milk), but most do not get enough calcium in their diets to help ensure optimal peak bone mass. Are your kids getting enough calcium?

Recommended Calcium Intakes
AgeAmount of calcium
Birth to 6 months
6 months to 1 year

Children/Young Adults
1 to 3 years
4 to 8 years
9 to 18 years

Adult Women and Men
19 to 50 years

Pregnant or Lactating Women
18 years or younger
19 to 50 years


Source: National Academy of Sciences, 1997.

Calcium is found in many foods, but the most common source is milk and other dairy products. Drinking one 8-oz glass of milk provides 300 milligrams (mg) of calcium, which is about one-third of the recommended intake for younger children and about one-fourth of the recommended intake for teens. In addition, milk supplies other minerals and vitamins needed by the body. The chart on the next page lists the calcium content for several high-calcium foods and beverages. Your kids need several servings of these foods each day to meet their need for calcium.

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  • Juvenile Bone Health - Experience

    Please describe your experience with juvenile bone health.

  • Juvenile Bone Health - Getting Girls to Drink Milk

    Have you had success getting your daughter to drink milk? Please share tips.

  • Juvenile Bone Health - Lactose Intolerance

    Did you suspect your child was lactose intolerant? Please share your story.

  • Juvenile Bone Health - Supplements

    Do your children take calcium supplements? If so, in what form?

  • Juvenile Bone Health - Exercise

    What types of exercise do your kids engage in to strengthen their bones?

  • Juvenile Bone Health - Fractures

    Is your child prone to fractures? Please share your concerns.


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