May is National Osteoporosis Month

The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that osteoporosis and low bone mass affect 54 million Americans over the age of 50.  Osteoporosis causes an estimated two million broken bones each year, and the aftereffects are often devastating, resulting in pain, loss of mobility, and the need for long-term care.  You can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis by getting plenty of calcium in your diet now.  It is never too early to start eating for bone health.

Smoothie-2 webI’m sure your mother told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It is.  Fueling your body after a full night’s sleep (you did get a full night’s sleep, right?) sets the stage for an active and productive day.

The problem is breakfast is the meal we have the least time to prepare.  Getting ourselves out the door in the morning leaves little time to sit down and eat, so breakfast is often something we can make quickly or grab and go.

Breakfast food is an excellent source of a significant portion of your daily calcium needs.  Pairing calcium-fortified cereal with milk or having some yogurt and fruit with a glass of calcium-fortified orange juice gets you ahead of the calcium game for the day.  Neither of these is very portable, though.

One of my favorite breakfasts on the go is a yogurt-based smoothie.  I like to throw whatever frozen fruit I have in the freezer in a blender, add a liberal splash of orange juice or milk, and a generous portion of vanilla yogurt.  If it needs a little sweetening, I add some honey.  I throw in a handful of ice and blend it up real good, and in the time it would have taken to nuke a frozen sausage biscuit, I have a smoothie to go.

My smoothie approach is not for everyone.  For those who prefer the guidance of a recipe, here are a few that sound yummy.

Fruit Smoothie (from the book Bone Appetit by the Georgia Osteoporosis Initiative)

2 oz. frozen blueberries
2 oz. frozen strawberries
2 oz. frozen raspberries
1 cup yogurt
2 TBS nonfat dry milk
½ cup milk
½ cup calcium-fortified orange juice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.  You can add ice if desired.

Yields 2 servings


Groovy Smoothie (from the book Bone Appetit by the Georgia Osteoporosis Initiative)

2 small ripe bananas cut into chunks
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup vanilla yogurt
¾ cup milk

Combine in a blender and process until smooth.

Yields 2 servings


Strawberry-Orange Smoothie (from Betty Crocker)

2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 (10 oz.) bag frozen strawberries
¼ cup calcium-fortified orange juice
1 TBS honey

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Yields 3 servings


Karla Jacobs is a member of the Georgia Commission on Women.  She lives in Marietta with her husband, two kids, a dog, and some fish.