Bones and Sponges, what do they have in common?
I am teaching lessons on nutrition and healthy eating to the campers at JCYS Grand Slam Tennis Camp in Highland Park this summer. Last week, my lesson was about calcium and healthy bones. We did a relay race and the kids ran to fill up a bucket with water using their sponges.
Bones are made up of a spongy interior which requires calcium to maintain strength and prevent deterioration of the bone structure. Without calcium, adults, and even children, can develop osteopenia or osteoporosis which can cause permanent disability. See more about osteoporosis here.
My lesson was a simple one. Bones, like sponges, are made up of a tiny matrix of holes or pores. Sponges, especially Sponge Bob, like water. Without water, they become weak and break easily. Bones need calcium to maintain their strength and structure. As children grow, bone formation exceeds bone breakdown. In early and middle adulthood, both processes are equal. In aging adults, bone breakdown exceeds formation, resulting in bone loss and increased risk of osteoporosis. Thus, as we age, our needs increase.
How do I get Calcium?
• Milk, skim (8 oz) = 302 mg
• Cheddar cheese (1.5 oz) = 306 mg
• Yogurt, plain, low-fat (8 oz) = 415 mg
• Yogurt, fruited, low-fat (8 oz) = 245-384 mg
• Frozen yogurt, vanilla, soft serve (4 oz) = 100 mg
• Kale, cooked (1 cup) = 94 mg
• Broccoli, raw (½ cup) = 21 mg
How much do I need?
|Pregnancy & Lactation, <18 years||1300|
|Pregnancy & Lactation, 19-50 years||1000|
Next time you reach for a snack, think of your sponges, and make it a calcium rich choice to help strengthen your bones!