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According to Osteoporosis Australia, over 1.2 million Australians have osteoporosis.

A further 6.3 million have osteopenia, or low bone density, which increases risk of the disease in the future.

It’s a condition that can affect anyone at any age, but is also highly preventable through a few key healthy lifestyle measures.

Making the right choices now – both for yourself and as a mother, for your children, will mean you and your family can enjoy healthy bones for years to come. This is why, as a Healthy Bones Ambassador, we are screaming out to all Australians to think about their bone health this October.

For your little ones

It’s important that young children are exposed to a healthy diet to build and maintain strong bones.

Incorporating foods such as milk, cheese, yoghurt and broccoli that are high in calcium into meals will get them used to eating these foods and developing good eating habits.

Try to get your little ones from in front of the television and outside and being active. Running, jumping and skipping are not only fun but also great for developing strong bones. Getting kids engaged in an outside sport such as soccer or netball is also a great way to promote healthy bones.

For your teenagers

People who are physically active tend to have a higher bone mineral density, which means healthier bones.

As your children grow up, it’s important they keep active and incorporate regular exercise routines into their week to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.

High impact, weight bearing exercises are best for bones, so it’s a great time to be playing sports such as soccer, hockey, tennis, netball and football. These are great for teens to improve mobility and also increase bone density by 2-8% per year. If they play sports outdoors, there’s the added bonus of regular, safe, sunshine exposure as well.

For you

During adulthood, healthy bones become important in leading a fit and active life that’ll take you from your peak working years into retirement.

Bones can also slowly start to lose their density in one’s early thirties, so your lifestyle choices carry heavier weight. While work and family commitments make life extremely busy, it’s important to still get outside for at least 5-10 minutes of sunshine a day and to exercise regularly.

Pay extra attention to your diet and make a conscious effort to consume foods high in calcium.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • Some good advice there, thank you.

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  • Exercise, sunshine (don’t overdo it!) and lots of dairy products for optimal bone health. Enjoyable read here.

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  • Some schools have uniforms with hats, they have to wear them when out playing yet not to and from school.

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  • Have dairy because its full of calcium and good for bones but wait nope dont to tgat coz it causes pimples to break out arrrgh its so confusing

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  • Thanks, great tips. Will be very good to know.

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  • If your child has to be kept in the shade as much as possible you may need to give Vitamin D supplements for the calcium to be absorbed.

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  • Thanks again for sharing this article; have been happily sharing with friends.

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  • And remember, green veg is high in calcium, as well as nuts, avocados, wholegrains, berries, oranges, chickpeas, legumes, tofu etc
    So many vegetables are amazing for your bones & absorbed better than from dairy.

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  • Thanks for sharing this informative article; good read.

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  • Love this article as our school insists on the kids covering up when the UV is over 2, however I have read the research and understand kids are covering up in some circumstances so much that they are becoming Vitamin D deficient.

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  • I love making sure my kids get enough calcium

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  • all over all this tips thank you for the article it is nice to know you are getting things right for a change

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  • Great tips. Thankfully my son loves broccoli — it’s one of his fave vegetables. And I think as a family we’re pretty good at ticking off most of the suggestions above.

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  • I struggle with getting things that are high in calcium into my dairy free child, great reading though

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  • it’s important to stay healthy

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