New Survey Finds Parents are in the Dark about Kids’ Snacking Habits and Bone Health
GOLDEN, Colo. (July 29, 2007) – At back-to-school time, most parents are dedicated to helping their kids build a lifetime of knowledge, but kids need to build more than their minds to lead a long and healthy life. They need to build strong bones too. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, only 10 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys get the calcium they need in the ‘tween’ years, ages 9-13, to build peak bone mass.
A July 2007 survey of parents of school-aged children, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for GTC Nutrition, found that the majority of parents, almost 60 percent, are in the dark when it comes to knowing how much calcium their kids need on a daily basis. Furthermore, over 30 percent of the parents surveyed mistakenly believe their children need less than half of the daily recommended 1,300 mg of calcium for kids aged nine years and older.
Not only are parents unaware of how much calcium their kids need, but 75 percent of those surveyed also grossly underestimate the amount of nutrition that comes from snacking between meals. According to the Mayo Clinic, as much as 40 percent of kids’ nutritional value may come from snacking on any given day. Yet in fact, more than 50 percent of parents surveyed underestimate this percentage by at least half.
While many kids are clearly making some unhealthy snacking choices after-school, parents said approximately 60 percent are also choosing healthier snack alternatives, such as yogurt or fruit. However, a significant number of kids still prefer snacks with little nutritional value, with almost 40 percent citing potato chips, cookies or candy as their after-school snack of choice. “Growing kids like to snack, which presents an opportunity for parents to positively influence or change the type of snacks they provide,” said Dr. Coni Francis, a registered dietitian with GTC Nutrition. “Kids’ snacking habits, coupled with the large percentage of kids who consume an inadequate amount of calcium, create a perfect opportunity this back-to-school season for parents to help their kids by selecting better-for-your bones snacks.”
GTC Nutrition is encouraging parents to help kids make better after-school snack choices by bringing healthy, bone-building foods into the home. Snacks that are rich in calcium and contain prebiotics can help boost both the calcium in kids’ diets and the amount of calcium absorbed by their bodies. A prebiotic is a non-digestible soluble fiber that can significantly boost calcium absorption by encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria in the body. One of the most effective prebiotics currently available is NutraFlora® prebiotic fiber. “NutraFlora acts quickly and is active during the peak time for calcium and mineral absorption, about four hours after food is ingested” according to Dr. Francis.
Many bone-healthy foods enhanced with NutraFlora prebiotic fiber, such as Horizon Organic® yogurts and smoothies, can be served as a snack on their own or incorporated into easy and fun after-school snack recipes that are sure to please any kid’s palate. Simply by whipping up one of these delicious recipes, parents can help kids build strong bones for a lifetime. The following recipe is just one of several bonehealthy after-school snacks Dr. Francis has developed. For more of Dr. Francis’ recipes or to learn more about NutraFlora and prebiotics, visit nutraflora.com. You can also visit http://www.gtcnutrition.com/EN/pressroom/presskit.php to listen to a short educational podcast with Dr. Francis outlining the function and benefits of prebiotics.
Fruity Frozen Yogurt Popsicles for Healthy Bones
4 Horizon Organic® Low Fat Blended Strawberry Yogurts
2 Cups Frozen Fruit
2 Cups Orange or Pineapple Juice
1 Tsp. Vanilla
Freeze individual servings of yogurt. Once frozen, break the yogurt into smaller pieces
In a blender, mix frozen yogurt, fruit, juice and vanilla
Fill small paper or plastic cups with mixture and freeze until firm
Place popsicle stick in each cup when half frozen
To serve, run warm water on the outside of cup to loosen each popsicle from the mold
Yield: Four servings
Difficulty Level: Easy
About GTC Nutrition
GTC Nutrition, a business unit of Corn Products International, Inc., is a recognized leader in providing innovative, customized ingredient solutions along with scientific, technical and marketing expertise to the food processing, dietary supplement and animal feed industries. GTC Nutrition promotes health globally with innovative functional food ingredients and unsurpassed customer support. For more information, visit www.gtcnutrition.com .