Sunday, August 17, 2008

Boning Up on Bone Health this Back-to-School Season

(ARA) - Each back-to-school season, parents arm children with tools necessary to build a lifetime of knowledge. But children need to develop more than their minds to lead a long and healthy life – they need to develop strong bones, too.

This year, parents can send kids back to school with the tools necessary to build strong minds and strong bones by following a handful of useful nutrition strategies. Ninety percent of girls and 75 percent of boys ages 9 to 13 do not get the 1,300 milligrams of daily calcium recommended, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. What’s more, the majority of parents (60 percent) aren’t sure how much calcium their kids get each day, according to a 2007 survey by independent research firm Opinion Research Corporation More than 30 percent of surveyed parents mistakenly believed their children needed less than half of the daily recommended amount.

Parents have an opportunity to become better educated about bone health in order to effectively increase their kids’ bone mass. Bringing bone-healthy foods into the home is one simple step parents can take to help their kids build and maintain strong bones.

Bone-healthy foods include foods rich in calcium, along with those enhanced with prebiotics - non-digestible, soluble fiber that can significantly boost calcium absorption by encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria in the body. By choosing to bring foods into the home that are both rich in calcium and enhanced with prebiotics, parents can ensure their kids are on the road to a lifetime of healthy bones.

“Back-to-school season presents an opportune time for parents to help their kids build strong bones by providing them with bone-healthy breakfasts and packed lunches,” says Coni Francis, Ph.D., a registered dietitian with GTC Nutrition.

There are an increasing number of kid-friendly, better-for-your-bones foods for parents to choose from, such as Barbara’s Bakery line of Organic Wild Puffs cereals. Barbara’s Bakery recently re-launched their tasty cereals with the added health benefits of NutraFlora, a natural prebiotic fiber. NutraFlora is one of the most effective prebiotics available, and is rapidly gaining awareness among parents and consumers for its ability to significantly improve calcium absorption.

In addition to serving bone-healthy foods, parents can help kids build and maintain healthy bones by encouraging them to exercise. Bones, just like muscles, become stronger through regular athletic activity. Most schools have a wide variety of organized athletics for kids, making back-to-school a perfect time for kids to start a new exercise routine.

To learn more about building and maintaining healthy bones visit or

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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