A strong bone structure requires a combination of calcium, vitamin D and exercise, starting in childhood.
Young children should consume around 800 milligrams of calcium per day. Starting with the age of 9 and up to 18, when bone development is much faster, the required daily calcium intake amounts to 1,300 milligrams.
It is recommended to consume calcium-rich products such as broccoli, cheese, yoghurt or natural orange juice.
Both children and adolescents need at least 200 units (international unit of measurement in the pharmaceutical industry) of vitamin D.
Both milk and natural orange juice are fortified with this vitamin. Another natural source of vitamin D is the sun.
Daily exposure of a child to the sun for 10 to 15 minutes is sufficient to obtain the required amount of vitamin D.
Children who are breast-fed and those who are at risk of vitamin D deficiency should receive supplements, but should be given at the doctor's instructions.
Children of all ages need one hour of exercise a day. Any type of physical activity is beneficial, whether it is a sport such as football or just jumping rope.
November 29, 2007