Saturday, June 6, 2009

Helping kids stay strong during the summer months

(ARA) - Summer meals may taste great, but many also lack some of the essential nutrients kids need, especially when it comes to building and maintaining strong bones.

With more than 90 percent of girls and 75 percent of boys ages 9 to 13 not getting the daily recommended 1,300 milligrams of calcium for their age group, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the need is greater than ever for parents to ensure their kids are developing strong bones for life. The good news is some simple, easy-to-take steps can make a big difference when it comes to building strong bones.

Providing kids with bone-healthy food options is one easy step parents can take. These foods include not only those rich in calcium, but also those that contain prebiotic fiber, a non-digestible soluble fiber that can help significantly boost calcium absorption. One popular prebiotic fiber available in a variety of food products is NutraFlora. Parents can easily spot foods fortified with NutraFlora, by looking for the NutraFlora green leaf logo.

“One way parents can help ensure kids get and absorb the calcium they need is to make recipes that incorporate calcium-rich and prebiotic-fortified ingredients,” says Dr. Coni Francis, a registered dietitian with GTC Nutrition. “This can be particularly important during the summer when kids are not getting balanced breakfasts and lunches at school.”

One great option for summer breakfasts and snacks is a quick and easy yogurt parfait, which includes calcium-rich yogurt, as well as cereal fortified with prebiotic fiber. This bone-healthy recipe is even easy enough for kids to make themselves.

Yummy Yogurt Parfait

Recipe developed by GTC Nutrition.


6 ounce package peach Horizon Organic Yogurt
Snack-size can diced peaches in fruit juice
1 teaspoon wheat germ
1/4 cup Barbara’s Bakery Organic Wild Puffs cereal


Drain peaches. Layer a parfait glass or other glass with yogurt, peaches, wheat germ and cereal. Use cereal for top layer of parfait (fresh fruit can be substituted).

In addition to consuming and absorbing adequate amounts of calcium, kids need regular exercise to ensure a lifetime of strong bones. Similar to muscles, bones become stronger through regular activity, and the warm summer months are a great time for kids to increase their activity levels.

To learn more about building and maintaining healthy bones visit or

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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