"Maintaining adequate calcium and vitamin D intake during childhood and adolescence is necessary for the development of peak bone mass, which may be important in reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis later in life," notes Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD.
Studies also show that adults are not leading by example, as many Americans are not meeting the recommendations for vitamin D. Teenage girls and adult women are especially likely to have inadequate vitamin D intakes.
"Because of the influence of the family's diet on the diet of children and adolescents, adequate calcium and vitamin D intake by all members of the family is very important in ensuring long-term bone health," added Zelman
"A well-rounded diet including low-fat dairy products, whole grains, beans, lean protein (meat, fish, poultry), healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, along with regular physical activity are important to achieving good health and strong bones and teeth," said Zelman
About Kathleen Zelman
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD, is a prominent registered dietitian, author and educator.
nutrition expertise is backed with years of professional experience as a clinical dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association
She is a contributing writer to newspapers, magazines and Web sites.
books include A Harvest of Healing Foods: Recipes and Remedies for the Mind, Body and Soul and Healthy Eating for Babies and Toddlers.