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. In addition, more than half of girls aged 9 to 11 years and 45 per cent of boys aged 9 to 11 years had inadequate usual intakes of calcium.
As kids grow, so should their dairy intake 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 are 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 helped develop the family friendly recipes and urged parents not to forget about bone health as 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,” Beaumont said.
“The Australian Health Survey reveals that an astonishingly high percentage of children aged nine to 16 years, particularly girls, are not getting their daily calcium requirements.
“Dairy foods are the richest source of calcium in the Australian diet. It’s important for parents to check whether their kids are getting enough calcium as the dietary guidelines recommend a different number of serves for different age groups,” Ms. Beaumont said.
As well as calcium, dairy products provide a whole package of bone-building nutrients including protein, potassium and zinc.