Bone health is a very important aspect of children‘s overall well-being, setting the foundation for a healthy and active life. While milk and calcium supplements are often highlighted, there are other, perhaps less known, habits and practices that can significantly contribute to stronger bones in kids. Here are 7 of those lesser-known habits and ways to enhance bone health in children.

Playing outdoors in the sun

Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, essential for calcium absorption and bone health.Encouraging kids to play outdoors allows them to soak up the sun’s rays, especially in the early morning or late afternoon when UV radiation is less intense but still effective. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that regular sun exposure can significantly increase vitamin D levels in children, reducing the risk of bone diseases like rickets.

Add some traditional foods

Our cuisine offers several bone-strengthening foods. For instance, ragi (finger millet) is a staple in many diets and is exceptionally high in calcium. According to research by the National Institute of Nutrition in India, ragi contains up to ten times more calcium than other cereals. Drumstick leaves (moringa) are rich in calcium and other minerals essential for bone growth. Including these foods in a child’s diet can provide a natural, nutritious boost to their bone health, supporting their growth and development.

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Take some help from Yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice that not only enhances flexibility and balance but also strengthens bones through weight-bearing postures. Poses like the Tree Pose and Warrior Pose apply gentle pressure on bones, stimulating bone growth and strength. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that regular yoga practice can improve bone density in children.

The magic of Til (sesame seeds)

Sesame seeds are a rich source of calcium and phosphorus, important for bone formation and health. A tablespoon of sesame seeds can provide a substantial amount of these essential nutrients. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition highlighted that regular consumption of sesame seeds can improve bone density in children. Sprinkling sesame seeds on meals or adding them to snacks can be an easy and effective way to boost bone health in kids.

Encourage physical activities with weight-bearing exercises

Engaging in activities that involve jumping, running, and climbing helps in building stronger bones by stimulating bone-forming cells. Weight-bearing exercises are particularly effective as they make the bones work against gravity, encouraging growth and strengthening. The American Academy of Pediatrics emphasises the importance of these exercises for developing healthy bone mass in children.

Use some spices and herbs regularly

Certain herbs and spices commonly used in cooking, such as turmeric and fenugreek, have been shown to support bone health. Turmeric contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can help in maintaining bone density. A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that curcumin can enhance bone formation and reduce bone resorption.

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