Monthly Archives: August 2018

Ways to Help Your Kids Build Strong Bones

strong bones

Strong bones are important for kids, as children build about 40 percent of their bone mass between the ages of 9 and 14. Girls reach 90 percent of their bone mass by age 18, and boys reach 90 percent of their bone mass by age 20. Nutrition and physical activity have a large impact of bone health, and here is how you can help your kids build strong bones.

1. Diet is Key to strong bones. A diet that builds strong bones must include calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K. Calcium: The best sources of calcium are low-fat diary like milk, cheese and yogurt, but almonds, broccoli and kale also have calcium. Many foods such as cereal and non-dairy beverages are calcium fortified. Vitamin D: Vitamin D can be difficult to get through diet, as there are just a few sources including egg yolks and fatty fish such as salmon and tuna. Talk to your pediatrician about giving your child Vitamin D supplements. Magnesium: Good sources are almonds, spinach, black beans, peanut butter and whole wheat bread, Vitamin K: Look for food sources of vitamin K from green leafy vegetables, such as kale, cabbage, spinach and broccoli.

2. Exercise Builds strong bones. Regular weight-bearing exercise stimulates bones and makes them stronger. Walking, running, gymnastics, soccer, dancing, and hiking are all great weight-bearing activities. Your child does not have to play an organized sport to build strong bones- walk or hike together as a family to meet your activity needs.

3. Things to Avoid. Smoking and drinking alcohol can compromise bone health, but so can dieting, disordered eating and under-eating in pursuit of athletic endeavors. Talk to your doctor if you think your child might be dieting or under-eating.

For ideas on healthy grocery shopping, meal planning and other ways to help your family live healthier, consider working with one of our health coaches. A health coach can help you set goals and find realistic ways to reach those goals.

Dr. Karen Leibowitz
Health and Medical Coach
KareBoost Health

Lactose Intolerance in Children: 3 Things to Know

lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance occurs when the body makes too little of the enzyme lactase, which the body needs to break lactose down into glucose and galactose. When there’s not enough lactase in the body, lactose doesn’t get broken down in the small intestine, and instead passes into the large intestine where bacteria ferments it into gases and acids. For many kids, this means that a glass of milk or a scoop of ice cream can result in cramps, gas and diarrhea. You should discuss these symptoms with your pediatrician to make sure that it is not related to other health conditions.

If you know or suspect that your child may have lactose intolerance, here are 3 things to know.

  1. Lactose Intolerance is Manageable: If your child has been diagnosed, know that this can easily be managed with dietary changes. For some people, lactose intolerance can be permanent, but for some children, lactose intolerance is a temporary condition following a gastrointestinal infection or after taking antibiotics.
  2. Lactose Intolerance is Easily Diagnosed: In most cases, doctors diagnose lactose intolerance through a simple hydrogen breath test. If you suspect your child has lactose intolerance, consult your doctor first. Your doctor can rule out other conditions, such as acid reflux and celiac disease, and discuss dietary changes if your child has lactose intolerance.
  3. What to eat? If your child has been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, first discuss dietary changes with your child’s doctor. They may suggest eliminating dairy, but this is not always the case. Not everyone with intolerance is sensitive to all dairy: for example, some children may tolerate cheese but not milk. You may want to start keeping a food diary that tracks what foods irritate your child, and what foods are well tolerated. Also, make sure to add in calcium rich foods such as calcium fortified non-dairy beverages, salmon and almonds to replace the calcium in dairy. You may even try using lactaid pills before your child eats dairy.

If your child has recently been diagnosed and you would like guidance in meeting your child’s nutritional needs while making changes to their diet, consider working with our health coach Dr. Karen. Our health coach can help you devise a meal plan that works with your lifestyle and budget, meets your child’s needs, and makes meeting your healthy goals easier.

Dr. Karen Leibowitz
Health and Medical Coach
KareBoost Health

Healthy Drinks for Kids: 3 Things to Know

Healthy Drinks for Kids

It may surprise you to learn that what your kids drink can have just as much of an impact on their health as what they eat. Today, we will discuss the best healthy drinks for kids to keep your little ones healthy and hydrated.

  1. Stick to Water and Milk.
    Water has zero calories, zero sugar and is simply the best way to hydrate. Milk is a good source of calcium, with 300 milligrams in 1 cup. Toddlers age 1-3 should aim for 2 cups of milk or fortified non-dairy beverages, kids 4-8 can have 2 ½ cups, and kids 9 and older can have 3 cups. Choose low-fat or non-fat dairy most of the time.
  2. Limit Juice.
    Fruit juice is high in sugar, and your child will get more nutritional value out of eating a whole piece of fruit. However, if your child likes juice, limit it to a cup a day, and always buy juice without any added sugar. Read labels carefully to make sure it is 100% juice.
  3. Say No To Soda.
    Soda has zero nutritional value, is high is sugar and contains caffeine, which kids do not need. It can lead to tooth decay, excessive weight gain and other health problems. The best way to get kids not to drink soda is to never start them on the habit. If you do not drink it or have it at home, your kids won’t either. By the time your kids are exposed to soda outside the home, hopefully their healthy habits stick. Either way, not serving soda at home will limit the opportunities your kids have to drink it.

If you are struggling with implementing healthy drinks for kids or other healthy habits at home, our health coaching team can help. Set up a free consultation with Dr. Karen to see how our holistic approach to healthy living can help your family. From developing weekly meal plans to cooking for specific dietary needs, we are here to support you in your healthy goals.

Dr. Karen Leibowitz
Health and Medical Coach
KareBoost Health