During the early years, the bones of kids develop and grow while also being depleted at the same time. If the consumption of calcium, Vitamin D and other required minerals are sufficient, the health of bones will be positive. If the consumption of required vitamins and minerals are less, the depletion of bones will soon take over resulting is much weaker bones and easy fractures.
We have already talked about how refined Sugar harm our body. Now, lets see how it can damage the bones too.
Sugar can be consumed in many forms like Bread which is extremely high in added sugar and one of the most staple food in every household for kids. When we buy bread, we must look at the ratio of fibre to carbs given at the back label of the bread. For a more fibrous and less refined bread, this ratio must be 1:10 at least. If it is 1:5 that’s even better for health. There is an easy recipe of fibrous bread given below.
Other common sources of sugar are white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, cookies, candy, donut, cake, canned drinks, packed juices, bottled shakes and smoothies, granola bars, sauces, jams and many others. Such intake on a regular basis can deplete four of the best bone-friendly nutrients from your child’s body.
Calcium + Phosphorous
Calcium combines with phosphorous to make calcium phosphate which is most important component for our bones. When sugar is consumed, there is acid that’s released in the body. In order to balance this acid, calcium is extracted from the bones resulting in Calcium deficient weaker bones.
Vitamin D assists in absorption of Calcium by the bones. Consumption of sugar increases an enzyme that degrades vitamin D and thereby also results in reduced absorption of calcium by the bones. Double whammy!
Vitamin C helps to make collagen and also delays the decaying process of bones. Sugar intake restricts the absorption of this vitamin into our body cells resulting in weaker bones.
Magnesium works on keeping the bones strong. Sugar strips the body of magnesium too by releasing it out through urine.
99% of the Calcium is stored in Bones and Teeth. If calcium is needed elsewhere, it is taken from the Bones. Hence it becomes imperative to keep 100% stock of calcium and consume everyday. The more bones will lend calcium, the more weak they will become. It is said that Osteoporosis is a disease that manifests in old age.
Studies indicate that roughly 50% kids don’t meet the daily Magnesium requirement. Magnesium is one of the top four abundant minerals in the body. So, any deficiency of this mineral will easily reflect in daily life. Magnesium is key in formation of bones. We only build bones until mid-20s and hence it becomes crucial to build strong bones and teeth to last us a lifetime.
Every single cell in the body requires Vitamin D. Body can also produce this through cholesterol exposure to sunlight. However, deficiency of Vitamin D is common in kids and results in weaker bones and muscles, fatigue and body pain among others. Vitamin D has to be consumed with fat (oil). For e.g. Cheese has vitamin D and fat both so its a great food to meet this nutrition.
- Recipe for Fibrous Bread:
- 1.5 tsp yeast
- 2 tsp Molasses or jaggery or coconut sugar
- 1 ½ cups warm water (or little more)
- 1 cup Sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup Amaranth flour
- 1/2 cup Potato starch or Wholewheat Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/4 cup Chia seeds (grind into powder)
- 1/4 cup Psyllium husk (Isabgol)
- Combine Ingredients in a bowl
- Make sticky dough
- Cover the dough in the bowl with dry towel and a lid and leave to rise double or 2 hours in a dark place
- Preheat at 200 celsius for 5 minutes
- Transfer dough to a surface. Use lots of any dry flour and roll to shape dough into a log and tuck in the sides to make it fit the bread loaf pan (grease the pan if necessary).
- OR can also bake dough in a pie round shape (see left pic)
- Add sesame seeds on top of the bread for added nutrition (optional)
- Slit dough top with sharp knife
- Bake at 200 celsius for 60-70 minutes at lower/middle rack
- Once done, leave to cool completely on a rag outside.
Read more about easy vitamins and complete wholemeals for kids below: