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Teens and Bone Health
Louise_WebMD_Staff posted:
I have two daughters and a son in their teens. Their father is big on the milk drinking-but I don't push it. Should I? How much should they be drinking? What about other sources of calcium in their diet?
Karen Kemmis, PT, DPT, MS responded:
Dear Louise,

Getting the recommended amount of calcium is especially critical for building strong bones during the childhood and teen years.

*Boys and girls ages 9 through 18 should get 1,300 milligrams
of calcium and 400 international units of vitamin D every day.

*Girls and boys ages 4 through 8 should get 800 milligrams and
400 international units of vitamin D every day.

Low-fat and non-fat milk and other dairy products can help people of all ages meet their calcium needs. One glass of vitamin D-fortified milk has about 300 milligrams of calcium and 100 international units of vitamin D per cup. Some green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and soybeans also have smaller amounts of calcium. Calcium-fortified foods offer another easy way to add calcium to the diet. Look for juices, breakfast foods, soymilk, cereals, snacks, breads and bottled water to see if calcium has been added.

In addition to making sure your children are getting enough calcium and vitamin D, they should also aim for about 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Playing sports, running and jumping are some great choices to help your children build strong bones.

For more information, visit and .
Louise_WebMD_Staff replied to Karen Kemmis, PT, DPT, MS's response:

The exercise isn't hard to work in. Now considering some new ways to work dairy into our diet. We use a lot of cheese in our house but the kids seem to have given up cereal-and don't snack often.

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