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Many Canadians believe osteoporosis is a disease that only affects older people. The reality is that osteoporosis is a condition that starts in childhood. The pre-teen and teen years are a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build bones. By the early 20s, our bones will be the strongest they will ever be. To maximize bone mass, kids and teens need to get enough calcium and exercise. Later in life, simple lifestyle measures, such as getting enough calcium, proteinvitamin D and doing weight-bearing exercise, can help maintain bone health and lower your risk of fracture.  

National food consumption data shows the majority of Canadians (adults and children) are not consuming the minimum number of daily servings from the Milk & Alternatives food group. Find out how many servings from the Milk & Alternatives food group and how much exercise you need by checking the chart below.


Age group

Recommended Number of Food Guide Servings

from the Milk & Alternatives food group1

Physical Activity

Recommendations 2

2-3 years 2

180 minutes per day

4-8 years 2

60 minutes per day

9-13 years 3-4

60 minutes per day

14-18 years 3-4

60 minutes per day

19-50 years 2

150 minutes per week

51+ years 3

150 minutes per week

One cup of milk or fortified soy beverage, 175 grams of yogurt, and 50 grams (1.5 oz) of cheese are all examples of one Food Guide Serving from the Milk & Alternatives group.

Are you getting enough calcium? Check out by doing our interactive calcium calculator

(1)    Health Canada. Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide. (2007).

(2)    Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. (2011).








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Nutrition Education News

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