Some 92% of parents believe that their children are getting enough calcium, vitamin D and exercise but most are mistaken; only one-third of children consume the recommended daily serves of dairy foods and only two in 10 children get enough calcium from the dairy food group.
According to Dr Rachel Duckham, childhood bone growth expert from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University, Melbourne, strong bone development throughout childhood is critical to build bones for the future.
“It’s alarming that so many Australian children aren’t getting the calcium and recommended physical activity they need to develop their bones.” said Duckham.
The majority of parents (88%) agree children should be educated about bone health at school. Furthermore, four in five parents were positive about the role schools can play in nutritional education.
“The good news is that parents and schools are increasingly recognising the importance of education for bone health, however, it is now Australia’s responsibility to ensure that bone health education is embedded into a child’s learning,” Duckham said.
“Healthy Bones Action Week is a great opportunity for schools, parents and children to get involved and take action for their bone health.”
To mark Healthy Bones Action Week, Dairy Australia are providing parents, teachers and communities with free resources to help with bone health education. These include games, posters and worksheets.
Dairy Australia dietitian, Emma Glassenbury, says the importance of nutrition education for bone health is fundamental for children.
“The three most important things for kids to remember are weight bearing exercise, vitamin D from safe sun exposure, and calcium-rich foods are key to support strong, healthy bones,” Glassenbury said.
Parents, schools and communities can find out more about maintaining and developing healthy bones at healthybones.com.au.
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