As you watch a multitude of our children walk in and out of the school with a variety of multi-colored casts, you’ve got to wonder “why so many fractures”? Yes, we live in a mecca of high risk activities, but many of the fractures in our kids are from seemingly small falls or even stress fractures. Personally, my children have experienced 4 fractures combined. So, I wanted to know more. The truth is that, yes, we live with risk, but we also live at a latitude where our winters are long, our kids are covered with clothing in the winter and sunscreen in the summer, so absorption of Vitamin D is generally low. Insufficiency in Vitamin D contributes to fracture risk. So, what do we do? I personally referenced Dr. Roanne Houck, ND and am always fascinated by her knowledge, expertise and applicable solutions. So, with her permission, I’m going to share her recommendations with you for healthy bones as well as improving immunity and over all wellness for your kids and for you.
How does a lack of Vitamin D affect bone integrity? Vitamin D is necessary for healthy mineral uptake. In particular, it is important for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Supplementing with Vitamin D varies based on your serum concentrations and if you have a current fracture, low Vitamin D or normal ranges. If your child or you have a stress fracture, have Vitamin D levels checked. Growing pains/ cramping can be a sign of Vitamin D deficiency as well, and would warrant a blood test. A standard Vitamin D check twice per year is helpful – once in summer and then in winter to see fluctuations and address with proper dosing.
Beyond bone health, Vitamin D is known to help reduce the risk for respiratory infections. Help boost your family’s immunity with Vitamin D. Furthermore, Vitamin D is a natural anti-depressant and is known to improve asthma symptoms in individuals with severe asthma.
Dr. Houck also recommends increasing Omega 3s. Omega 3s and DHA have been shown to increase bone mineral content. They also raise healthy prostaglandin levels, creating an anti-inflammatory effect. Other great benefits include brain and eye health. Some easy ways to increase Omega 3s are by eating organic eggs, cold water fish, flax, walnuts, game meat and dark leafy greens.
A Probiotic supplement or eating foods with probiotics are yet another way to improve nutrient absorption for your bones and the rest of your body. Probiotics boost healthy immunity and an overall healthy GI tract.
These things along with low sugar, ample sleep (9-10 hours for kids/ 7-8 for adults), and good hydration will help you start your school year off on the right foot, reduce your risks for fractures and improve your health.
For an extra kick, here are some great kid friendly snack recipes from Kelli Jennings, RD of Apex Nutrition. Bon appetit!
KayLynne Ezzell PT, MPT/ VP, CEO
Heights Physical Therapy, LLC
Heights Performance, LLC
Banana Bread Fuel:
Cocoa Energy Balls:
Nut Butter Stuffed Dates:
Raw Cocoa Chocolate Milk Recovery:
Coconut Oil Lemon Cookies:
Oatmeal Cookie Fuel:
Healthy Chocolate Cake: