As we age it is important to look after our bones and our joints, as we can be more prone to problems like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. The most common type of arthritis in the UK, osteoarthritis affectsMiniMeals_250x300_2 (3) the cartilage between our joints and is most likely to occur in the knees, hips and small joints in the hand. Your weight can have an impact on the osteoarthritis of the hips and knees as it increases the pressure on them. If you are watching your weight why not try smaller portions with our popular Mini Meals range? This range has some of our favourite dishes but in a smaller portion so you don't feel like you are missing out on your usual tasty meals from Oakhouse! As well as keeping your weight in check there are other steps you can take to keep your bones and muscles strong. Some of the following nutrients can be helpful in keeping healthy: Calcium Eating for calcium is important as we age Most of us know children need calcium to help them grow, but it’s just as important in later life to prevent the development of osteoporosis, which causes brittle bones. If your diet includes food from a variety of food groups, it should be simple to get enough calcium each day without making any big changes to your diet. Good sources include milk, cheese, cream and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. Why not try our Cheesy Smoked Haddock Fillet or our sumptuous Clotted Cream Vanilla Ice Cream for a treat! Vitamin D Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health because it helps our bodies absorb calcium. Sunlight is one of the main sources, but in the UK, the sun is only strong enough to help us make vitamin D in the summer. During the warmer months, try to spend up to 10 minutes each day out in the sun without sunscreen. As well as going out in the sun, you can get vitamin D from eating eggs or oily fish such as salmon and mackerel a few times a week. Our Kipper Fillets are a great breakfast dish, and our Salmon & Broccoli Bake is a delicious option for the evenings. Exercise for Healthy Muscles To protect you and your bones against falls, you also need to look after your muscles. By keeping them strong, you’re more likely to stay steady on your feet around the home and outdoors. Regular exercise will help with this – even low-intensity activities such as walking and gardening. You could also try balance-based exercises such as Yoga or Pilates. To keep your muscles in good shape and help them repair after exercise, it’s important to include protein in your diet. Good sources include meat, fish, cheese, beans, lentils and whole grain cereals. Our Chilli Con Carne & Rice is a great mildly spiced dish or why not try our Woodland Chicken for something a little different? Whatever your taste, it's important to get a balanced diet including elements from all the major food groups. You can find out more about eating healthily with the Eatwell plate here.