Exercise: — by Heather Lee Leap Weight-bearing exercise strength- ens bones as well as muscles. The Centers for Disease Control rec- ommends children participate in bone-building activities such as jumping rope, running, or climbing on a jungle gym at least three days per week. Aim for sixty minutes of physical activity each day. Encourage your child to participate in sports. Limit periods of inactivity. Take a break from TV, video games, even reading and homework. Sunlight is an important source of bone- strengthening vitamin D, so head outside to be active. Fortify Your Child Against Osteoporosis Y ou know that kids grow healthy and strong through exercise and proper nutri- tion, but did you know that childhood is prime time for preventing osteoporosis? habits that will keep your kids growing strong throughout their teens and into adulthood. Kids aren’t just getting bigger and taller as they grow. Their bones are also growing stronger, increasing in density. Children continue to make more bone than they lose until their mid-twenties. This is the time when they reach peak bone mass, the greatest amount of bone they will ever have. According to the Osteoporosis Foundation, the more bone your child has at the time of peak bone mass the less likely she is to break a bone or develop osteoporosis later in life. Provide foods high in calcium such as low-fat cheese, yogurt and milk fortified with vitamin D. Calcium rich snacks recommended by the Na- tional Institutes Of Health and easy for hungry kids to find are cheese cubes and string cheese, single-serv- ing puddings, cereal with low-fat milk, broccoli with yogurt dip, indi- vidual cheese pizza, and almonds. Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” It occurs when we lose too much bone, do not create enough bone, or both. Low bone density increases a person’s risk of frac- tures. While it is most common in women, men also can develop osteoporosis. Use the following recommenda- tions to build strong bones and develop 28 WNY Family July 2018 Nutrition: Serve a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables that are high in calcium. Limit soft drinks. Children who con- sume soft drinks are less likely to drink milk or calcium-rich alterna- tives. Offer milk or calcium-added non-dairy beverages at meals. Make homemade popsicles from calcium-fortified orange juice. Run, jump and play as a family. Go for a walk or jog together. Jump rope, play kickball, soccer or bas- ketball. Hold wheelbarrow races in the backyard. Have your child start in a push-up position. Hold her feet in your hands like the handles of a wheelbarrow as she walks or runs on her hands to the finish line. Calcium Minus the Cow Calcium builds and maintains strong bones and teeth, but what if your kids don’t eat or drink dairy products? In addition to a calcium supplement, the USDA recommends these high-calcium foods to meet children’s daily needs.