By Paige Green, Hy-Vee Dietitian on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

How to help your strong mom build strong bones

Chances are mom is one of the strongest people you know. Yet as she ages, it’s likely her bones will become more brittle. 


Osteoporosis, a condition that causes the weakening and thinning of bones, effects more women than men worldwide. Approximately half of women will develop osteoporosis. Women are more susceptible due to their bone size and menopause. After menopause, the body naturally produces less estrogen, a hormone needed to keep bones healthy and strong. Within five years after menopause, women can lose more than 30 percent of their bone mass.

So what can moms, as well as all women do, to fight against osteoporosis? Building strong bones has a lot to do with our food choices and our exercise regimen, so let’s break it down:

Got Milk?

The daily calcium goal for women ages 50 and under is 1,000 mg, while women over 51 need to strive for 1,200 mg each day. Calcium is found in dairy products, like milk cheese and yogurt, as well as dark leafy veggies, almonds, canned salmon with bones, tofu and fortified orange juice.

BONE-HEALTHY RECIPE: Chocolate Chia Pudding 

The Sunshine Vitamin

Mom has been your ray of sunshine for years, which just so happens to be vitamin D’s best-known source. Vitamin D is essential to absorb calcium. Living in the Midwest it can be difficult to get the amount needed (600 IU) so you’ll find it in foods such as, salmon, dairy products, and eggs. Ask your doctor to draw a vitamin D lab at your next appointment to determine whether additional supplementation is needed.

VITAMIN D 101: Benefits, food sources, recommendations

Better Sore than Sorry

Weight-bearing exercise – just 30 minutes each day – does the body good. A simple walk or jog around the neighborhood can help build bone density levels without stepping foot in a gym. Be mom’s accountability partner, and check in with her from time to time.

LIVE 5-2-1-0: 1 hour of physical activity every day

Give the gift of good health to mom this Mother’s Day. Have a conversation with her about the necessary tips and nutrition gems that are needed to help build strong bones. Keep in mind, even if you or a loved one is ever diagnosed with osteoporosis, treatment is very similar to prevention. Build a solid foundation of nutrition and move the body. Now is the perfect time to make sure your mom has solid structure to use for years to come.

paigePaige Green received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management at the University of Northern Iowa in 2012. She pursued her passion for nutrition at Iowa State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics during the spring of 2015. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Paige truly sets out to educate individuals on finding a healthy balance in life and her passion for people and nutrition inspires clients of all ages. You can find Paige at the Ames Hy-Vee on Lincoln Way.