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Dem Bones, Dem Bones

Anne Kolker • MS, Registered Dietitian • Sep 07, 2011

Kids need to get enough calcium and vitamin D in order to develop healthy bones. Healthy bones are strong bones that have developed with a high amount of calcium. This is important for their older years. 

 You might be surprised to know that many children don't get enough vitamin D and calcium.  They are both very important because they work together to create bones and healthy teeth.
Some of the reasons children may not be getting enough of these important nutrients is because they are not drinking enough milk.  Milk is the perfect source because they are fortified with both calcium and vitamin D.  

Ways To Increase Your Child's Daily Intake Of Vitamin D And Calcium

If your child is refusing to drink milk, here are some tips to help increase their vitamin D and calcium intake.
  • Continue to offer lowfat milk at every meal
  • Add cereals that require milk for breakfast
  • Many cereals are fortified with added nutrients - read the food label and look for vitamin D and calcium
  • Make smoothies with lowfat or fat-free yogurt
  • Mix lowfat or fat-free yogurt with fruit and a a tablespoon of granola for a breakfast or snack
  • Add low fat cheese to vegetables, sandwiches and even in salad
  • Make pudding with low fat milk for dessert
  • Offer cottage and toast as a snack
  • Serve a baked potato with Greek lowfat yogurt instead of sour cream.  In fact, you can replace sour cream in recipes with plain yogurt for more nutrients!
  • Add dark green leafy vegetables to meals.
  • The body can make vitamin D if it is exposed to sun.  Have your child spend 15 minutes in sunlight without sunscreen - after that, children should wear sunscreen to protect their skin.

If Your Child Can't Drink Milk

  • Many nondairy milk, like soy milk and lactose free milk, are now fortified with vitamin D and calcium
  • Read labels and look for fortified foods higher in calcium and vitamin D
  • check with your pediatrician, your child may need a supplement

Proper nutrition, which consists of a diet rich in iron mineral, is important for all children. Establishing healthy eating habits early in life will help to prevent iron-deficiency anemia.









See All Our Nutrition Articles


Written by Anne KolkerWritten on Sep 07, 2011Last updated on Oct 15, 2013




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