A few years ago, I gave a talk to a room full of teen girls about health. We talked about hydration, skin and blemishes , sugar and bones health. I do my best to encourage kids to be aware of how they feel after they eat and how food might be affecting that.
The talk inspired me to write my fourth HBD book on the skeletal system and once it was finished, I reached out to my fabulous friends who are chefs and nutritionists and asked for their favorite bone building and kid-friendly recipes. Luckily, they were happy to share.
In addition, here are my top 4 foods for bones and a recipe from my Feed Your Bones recipe ebook that comes with the new HBD book, Osteoblasts to the Rescue.
Foods to Increase Bone Strength
Salmon has an array of health benefits from their omega-3s to their bone building nutrients as vitamin d and calcium. We have salmon at least 3 or 4 times a month. I usually add pesto of slices of lemon and bake in the oven. The kids never complain.
a salmon side note: Purchase Alaskan wild salmon. Wild salmon has lower risk of contaminants: mercury and pesticides, and generally, is a much better practice of fishing for the long-term.
surprise salmon nutrient: vitamin d… learn more by clicking here.
Many are surprised to learn that dark leaf vegetables are a good source of calcium. Spinach is a favorite in our house, but also try kale and bok choy.
a spinach side note: There are dozens of phytonutrients – flavonoids in particular – in spinach. These spinach flavonoids have anticancer properties – slowing down cancer cell division and reducing skin cancers – along with reducing inflammatory pathways in the body.
surprise nutrient in spinach: vitamin k… learn more by clicking here.
Nuts and seeds are definite a staples in our house; I keep a large jar of them on the kitchen island for simple access. They all have magnesium and other nutrients that keep the bones strong. Sesame seeds contain are packed with phosphorus, manganese and copper which support bones and keep them strong. We will sprinkle them on rice, salads, and our soy beans.
a sesame seed side note: Sesame seed oil is a good oil to cook with as it high resistance to rancidity. Plus, the seeds have a good amount of fiber which helps to grab on to things the body doesn’t need and gets it out of the body.
surprise nutrient in sesame seeds: tryptophan… learn more by clicking here.
Edamame is a simple health kids snack to wip up after school or even as a side dish or appetizer. My kids can make it themselves now which is an added bonus ( it is that simple). They have a good amount of protein, minerals and vitamins that support the whole body with a little extra going to the bones.
a soy bean side note: It is best to only consume organic soy beans as they are a mostly a crop that is genetically modified ( 90%); since we are unsure of the health consequences of GM foods, it is important to purchase them organic.
surprise nutrient in soy beans: iron… learn more by clicking here.
Remember, the best way to get all the nutrients you need is to color your plate with whole foods. Nuts, beans, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables are naturally abundant in nutrients essential to healthy bones. Having strong bones means you can stand up straight, bend and twist, play sports, and protect your organs like the lungs and heart.
Feed Your Bones Recipe
Creamy Mac n’Cheese
- 1 pack quinoa or whole grain pasta, depending on preference
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 small yellow squash, chopped
- ½ yellow/white onion chopped
- 1 cup cooked legumes of your choice (yellow lentils, lupini beans, lima beans, chickpeas, corona beans etc.)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 cups shredded natural cheese of choice (if you are vegan try the Daya shredded cheese)
- 1 cup natural milk of choice (hemp milk works really well here if you are dairy-free or vegan)
1. In a large pot on high heat filled with water, add the 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. As soon as
there is a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook according to the manufacturer instructions on the box.
2. While the pasta is cooking, in another pot on medium-high heat, add in the olive oil, carrots, squash,
onion, beans, water and turmeric. Cook about 10 minutes or until the veggies are very soft. Transfer
this mix into a food processor or blender and blend about 2 minutes until it is velvety smooth. Transfer
this mix back to the pot on medium heat.
3. Add in the cheese, a handful at a time and stir, allowing it to melt. Once all of the cheese is added
and melted, add in the milk 1/3 at a time and stir. Once the sauce mix is even in smooth, toss in your
cooked pasta and enjoy!
Lauren Smith-Cox Natural Partners, Inc.