zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Diet for Rickets

by
author image Leah DiPlacido, Ph.D.
Leah DiPlacido, a medical writer with more than nine years of biomedical writing experience, received her doctorate in immunology from Yale University. Her work is published in "Journal of Immunology," "Arthritis and Rheumatism" and "Journal of Experimental Medicine." She writes about disease for doctors, scientists and the general public.
Diet for Rickets
Two thinly sliced salmon fillets. Photo Credit tab1962/iStock/Getty Images

Rickets is a disease characterized by soft, weak bones in children. The symptoms of rickets include pain and tenderness in the bones, especially in spine, arms, pelvis and legs; slow growth and/or short height; muscle cramps; and abnormal teeth. Rickets is caused by a deficiency in at least one of three essential nutrients: vitamin D, calcium or phosphorous. Therefore, a diet to reverse rickets needs to contain foods rich in at least one of these nutrients.

Foods Rich in Vitamin D

Getting enough vitamin D supports strong bones and can prevent rickets. When ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin, the result is synthesis of vitamin D. However, children with very dark skin or who do not get enough sun exposure are susceptible to a vitamin D deficiency and therefore rickets. Eating foods rich in vitamin D can supply all the vitamin D to support strong bones. Good dietary sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna, eggs and yogurt. Many foods have also been fortified with vitamin D, such as orange juice, milk, margarine and breakfast cereals.

Foods Rich in Calcium

A diet for rickets should also contain foods rich in the essential mineral calcium. More than 99 percent of calcium in the body accumulates in the bones, and this mineral is necessary in conjunction with vitamin D and phosphorous to prevent rickets. Foods rich in calcium are dairy-based foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese; leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach also contain a good amount of calcium.

Foods Rich in Phosphorous

Because phosphorous is necessary for strong bones, a rickets diet should also contain foods that provide essential mineral. Good dietary sources of phosphorous include some of the same foods that are rich in calcium: diary-based foods like milk, cheese and yogurt; eggs; and salmon. Other foods that contain phosphorous are whole-wheat and enriched bread; halibut, beef, chicken and turkey; and cola.

The Importance of Milk

Fortified milk is a beneficial addition to a rickets diet because it contains vitamin D, calcium and phosphorous. However, some people do not drink milk for one or more reasons, such as not liking milk, avoiding animal-based foods in general or being lactose intolerant. For these children, it is important that their rickets diet contain several of the other foods rich in vitamin D, calcium and/or phosphorous.

Vegetarian Diets

A vegetarian diet may lack the essential nutrients necessary to support strong bones and may lead to rickets. Eating fortified foods or taking vitamin supplements can prevent nutrient deficiencies to which vegetarians are susceptible.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.