Ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on October 20, gold medal swimmer Michael Klim is jumping into the kitchen to highlight research showing kids and teens are missing out on calcium in daily meals - putting their bones at risk as they grow.
Previously unreported data from the most recent Australian Health Survey research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows our children are running the risk of serious bone damage:
- Over half of the Australian population aged two years and over had inadequate usual intakes of calcium.
- More than half (54%) of girls aged 9 to 11 years and 45% of boys aged 9 to 11 years had inadequate usual intakes of calcium.
- One in five girls aged 4-8 years had an inadequate usual intake of calcium. 1
- More than eight out of 10 girls aged 12 to 13 years and nine out of 10 girls aged 14 to 18 years had an inadequate usual intake of calcium. The equivalent figures for boys in these age groups was around seven out of 10.
- The school years are critical for bone health. This is why World Osteoporosis Day is asking parents to “Love your Bones. Protect Your Future”. 2
As kids grow, so should their intake of dairy foods to ensure they are getting enough calcium.
Klim said his online recipes and videos were handy for busy mums but also ideal for kids and teenagers to make themselves.
Dairy is just a part of life for me – milk is Klim spelt backwards! Seriously, though, I’ve always loved milk and cheese and yoghurt – can’t get enough,” Klim said.
I was lucky growing up because I had experts to help with my diet. They always highlighted the important role milk, cheese and yoghurt play in both building bones and fuelling my body with the energy it needed to get through the day. Now, as a dad, I just want to get a healthy meal on the table, and these recipes are designed to do just that,” Klim said.
So, with The Dairy Kitchen recipes we’re bringing some of that expert nutrition knowledge and combining it with a love of good, easy food that even the fussiest kids and teenagers will want to eat.
I'm no great chef, but even I can knock up these recipes in record time!”
Dairy Australia dietitian Amber Beaumont said that Klim’s recipes were family friendly and urged parents not to forget that the fight against osteoporosis starts in the younger years.
Childhood and the teen years are critical for building strong bones for the future with bones reaching their peak density from around the age of mid 20s to 30,” Ms. Beaumont said.
The Australian Health Survey reveals that an astonishingly high percentage of children and teens aged nine to 18 years, particularly girls, are not getting their daily calcium requirements.
Milk, cheese and yoghurt are the richest sources of calcium in the Australian diet. It’s important for parents to check whether their kids are getting enough calcium to meet their growing needs. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend kids consume more dairy foods as they get older to reflect this increased need for calcium,” Ms. Beaumont said.
As well as calcium, dairy foods provide a whole package of essential nutrients for kids’ growth and development including protein, B vitamins and iodine to name a few.
1 Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intake, 2011-12.
2 Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intake, 2011-12.