What is a Bone Healthy Lunch?

To keep those bones strong, here are three ways you can get what you need in your food.

Lunch is a pivotal meal during the day. It relieves the hunger from the morning’s activities and also sets you up to have the energy to make it through the afternoon until dinnertime. In some countries, lunch is the biggest meal of the day for this reason.

One of the most important minerals when talking about bones is calcium. The best source of calcium is from the food we eat. There are supplements but they do not all provide the same source of calcium that food does. And, they are not to be taken unless a doctor recommends them and gives a daily dosage.

Most people don’t take advantage of the calcium sources available. You may drink a glass of milk at breakfast or eat a bowl of cereal, but you can still get more.

That is where lunch can be so helpful. Here is another chance to get the calcium you need for your bones. How? Read on for three great ideas:

1. Add cheese to your meal. If you are eating a sandwich, include a slice of cheese that contains milk. It is fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Slap a slice on a turkey or ham sandwich. Melt it on top of tuna for a hot sandwich at lunchtime. If you are having a salad, you can also add cheese. Crumble up a tablespoon or two or sharp cheddar, Colby or Monterrey Jack cheese to add calcium to the meal.

2. Drink more milk. In school cafeterias, they serve milk. For kids who aren’t keen on plain milk, there is also low-fat chocolate and strawberry milk. An ice-cold glass or carton of milk will provide one of three servings of dairy for the day and quench your thirst in the process. Soda provides hundreds of calories and you still feel thirsty because of all the sugar.

3. Eat pizza. It’s okay every once in a while. For kids, the key here is the calcium-rich cheese. To lower the fat content, avoid pizza with toppings (unless they are vegetables) and just enjoy the cheese. You can also make your own mini pizzas using whole wheat bagels or English muffins.

What is in your lunch box? If it’s not a dairy product you could be missing out on easy ways to capture your daily dose of calcium. This mineral is instrumental in keeping your bones healthy and strong for life.