Our Focus Areas

TS-6: Bone Builders

TS-6: Bone Builders

Today, your child learned…

  1. How to do bone-building exercises.
  2. That bone building exercises help bones grow strong.

Why is this important?

  1. Bone-building (or weight-bearing) activities are things that you do on your feet, like running, jumping, skipping, hopping, and playing tag. Putting the weight of your whole body on your bones helps them grow strong.
  2. Eating foods high in calcium and vitamin D also helps with bone strength. Low-fat or skim milk is rich in calcium and Vitamin D (the perfect combination for you and your children!)
    • Nutritious, calcium-rich foods include low-fat dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt), enriched soy milk, and almonds.
    • Vitamin D rich foods include milk and dark leafy green vegetables.
    • For lactose intolerant individuals, flavored enriched soy milks are a good option.
    • Bone-building habits—like doing weight-bearing activities and eating calcium-rich foods—can help kids develop strong bones and prevent diseases like osteoporosis.

What you can do!

  1. Encourage bone-building activities by: playing jump rope, or games that require running, skipping or hopping.
  2. Encourage your family to eat calcium-rich foods (see the back for ideas).
  3. The next time you’re at the library with your child, help him or her find children’s cookbooks with colorful pictures and recipes with low-fat dairy foods that he or she would like to try.

High Calcium and Vitamin D foods:

  • Low-fat or skim milk
  • Enriched soy milks
  • Smoothies made with fruit and low-fat milk and/or yogurt (see recipe below)
  • Almonds
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Calcium fortified orange juice
  • Canned salmon with bones

Recipes to Try At Home

Banana Berry Smoothie


  • 1 small peeled banana cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen berries (such as raspberries, blackberries, and/or strawberries)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla low-fat yogurt
  1. In a blender container combine the frozen banana pieces, berries, orange juice, and yogurt.
  2. Cover and blend until smooth. Makes two (8 oz.) servings.

Hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of germs while cooking.
Remember to remind children to wash their hands well before preparing food.

Adapted from: Shape Up Somerville, Friedman School of Nutrition Tufts University, 2005