Healthy Bones Action Sheet

Fun ideas educators can use to teach children about their bodies and skeletal system:

To help teach children about their bodies and the skeletal system why not try some of these fun ideas suggested by Life Education at your school or centre:

Calcium-rich snacks to try:

Foods from the dairy food group are an excellent source of calcium needed to help build and maintain strong, healthy bones. Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt also contain a range of other essential nutrients for bone health including protein, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. To encourage your children to get their daily serves of the dairy food group try some of these tasty suggestions:

  • Fruit smoothies

Select your child’s favourite fruit such as banana, strawberries, mango or blueberries or use a combination of fruits. Chop and place in a blender, add milk or calcium-enriched alternatives* (such as soy, almond or rice milk), add ice to thicken and a teaspoon honey (optional). Blend well, pour into a glass and serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

  • Toasties

A warm tasty winter treat. Simply place two slices of the bread of your choice onto a sandwich press, add a slice of cheese (varieties can include cheddar, Swiss-style or mozzarella) and tomato slices and/or slices of ham or turkey if desired, close the press and allow to cook until cheese is melted and bread is toasted. Remove from press, cut into triangles or fingers and serve.

  • Fruit kebabs with yoghurt dipping sauce

Select your child’s favourite fruit such as banana, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi fruit, orange, apple. Chop into bite sized pieces and thread onto a wooden skewer. Pour plain yoghurt into a small dipping bowl. Place skewers and bowl onto a plate to serve.

Recommended daily calcium intake:

Most primary school aged children are not meeting their daily requirements for calcium. This is matched by an under consumption of foods from the dairy food group[1]*. To ensure children receive enough calcium for growth and development, they need to grow their intake of the dairy food group as they grow.   

The latest Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend the following minimum number of serves from the dairy food group:

Boys

  • 2-3 years old 1 ½ serves
  • 4-8 years old 2 serves
  • 9-11 years old 2 ½ serves
  • 12-18 3 ½ serves

Girls

  • 2-8 years old 1 ½ serves
  • 9-11 years old 3 serves
  • 12-18 3 ½ serves

A serve is equal to one cup (250mL) of milk, three-quarters of a cup (200g) of yoghurt or two slices (40g) of cheese or one cup (250 ml) calcium-fortified soy, rice or other cereal drink.

Information sourced from http://www.healthybones.com.au/Bone-Facts/Kids.aspx

[1] Research relating to the under consumption of the dairy food group by Baird DL et al. (2012), Dairy food intake of Australian children and adolescents 2–16 years of age: 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey. Public Health Nutrition.

* Ensure dairy alternatives contain at least 100mg of added calcium per 100ml.