Tag Archives: children’s health

Magnesium just as important as calcium for a child’s bone health

7 Oct

Editor’s note: This podcast and story originally ran on UF’s Health in a Heartbeat. Click to hear the podcast.


By: Rebecca Burton

We’ve all heard that milk does the body good, especially for growing children who need the calcium to build strong bones. But a new study shows that Popeye may have had the right idea with his spinach habit.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston found that foods high in magnesium, such as spinach, may be just as important for bone density in children as calcium. Previously, magnesium was found to be a key nutrient for adult bone health, but the results from this study showed that magnesium is just as important as calcium in a child’s diet as well.

So what should parents be sure to pack in their child’s lunchbox to make sure they are getting enough magnesium? In general, the National Institutes of Health says that green vegetables are a good source. The center of the chlorophyll molecule, which gives veggies their green color, contains magnesium. Nuts, seeds and whole grains are also a good idea. However, processed or refined white grains are low in magnesium, so be sure to distinguish between the two when trying to pick out trail mix or granola bars. Kid-friendly foods that contain magnesium also include peanut butter, chocolate pudding, chocolate milk and yogurt.

But, greater bone density is not the only benefit of this nutrient. Magnesium also helps maintain normal nerve and muscle functions and keeps the immune system healthy. A magnesium deficiency could cause fatigue and weakness. Researchers say it’s important to make sure your children are getting all of their required nutrients by keeping meals balanced. For example, try substituting their sugar-packed cereals with whole grain varieties. That is just one of the many ways to make sure they’re getting both calcium and magnesium.


Stressed moms more likely to have bullied kids, study shows

15 Nov

Although pregnancy isn’t one of the most relaxing times of a woman’s life, a new study shows that women should try to be as cool, calm and collected as possible while pregnant.

A study conducted by theUniversity of Warwick in the United Kingdom found that moms who were overly stressed or suffered from other mental problems during pregnancy had a higher chance their kids getting picked on by the school bully. Continue reading

Boys hitting puberty earlier, just like girls

22 Oct

A new study suggests that US boys may be reaching puberty up to two years earlier.

The study, “Secondary Sexual Characteristics in Boys: Data from the Pediatric Research in Office Settings Network,” conducted by AAP Pediatric Research in Office Settings (PROS), found that the mean ages of stage 2 genital and pubic hair growth in U.S. boys is six months to two years earlier than what previous data suggested. Continue reading

Milk allergies, lactose intolerance often confused.

18 Sep

Milk allergies are more prevalent in children and infants and should be monitored.

By: Rebecca Burton

Read full Miami Herald article here.




When a new semester looms, kids feel the stress

21 Aug

It is not uncommon for children starting a new semester to experience anxiety. Check out my article for the special health section of the Miami Herald, discussing ways to combat a child’s stress.

Click here for PDF version.

P.S. I know my posts have been few and far between lately, stay tuned for posts reflecting my past four years in Miami and my new life in Gainesville. I will be posting progress on my experience in graduate school, what I will be focusing my research on and my new job doing web design. Enjoy my last Herald article above!