Vitamin D Day 31 March 2013

FIRST UK VITAMIN D DAY LAUNCHED TO EDUCATE PARENTS

Vitamin D Day to shine spotlight on vitamin D

 At the dawn of British summertime 2013, growingupmilkinfo.com launches the UK’s first Vitamin D Day (31 March) to raise awareness about the importance of the vitamin for toddler development. I recently wrote about how we get our recommended dose of the sunshine vitamin Here

With a recent survey highlighting that the majority of UK mums (91%)  don’t know the recommended daily intake of vitamin D for toddlers, Vitamin D Day has been created to address misconceptions, and educate the nation’s parents, about the role of diet in providing the essential vitamin.

Health expert and ITV’s This Morning regular, Dr Chris Steele, who is backing Vitamin D Day, stressed the importance of dietary intake of vitamin D for toddlers. He said: “Many parents don’t know how much vitamin D is needed for the normal growth of toddler bones and teeth.

growing up

He added: “The low levels of vitamin D in toddler diets is a growing health concern and we need to ensure that our toddlers are getting the best from their diets. Presently, the average British toddler is only getting 27% of their recommended daily dietary vitamin D intake ii and the sun cannot be relied upon alone to fulfil a toddler’s vitamin D needs.”

Vitamin D Day aims to educate Brits on the food sources, like oily fish, liver and eggs, as well as foods and milks fortified with vitamin D, such as fortified breakfast cereals and Growing Up Milk, to help top-up vitamin D levels in our little ones’ diets.

To support Vitamin D Day growingupmilkinfo.com has launched its new website which includes vitamin D rich recipes for toddlers and expert health advice and tips, as well as a vitamin D Q&A video with Dr Chris Steele.

Dr Chris Steele raises a beaker to support the UK's first Vitami

 

For more information on the importance Vitamin D and toddler nutrition, visit www.growingupmilkinfo.com.

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The Sunshine Vitamin

Children need Vitamin D to help their bones develop properly, grow and stay strong. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium which helps us to build strong teeth and bones. A deficiency in Vitamin D at an early age can lead to a child developing rickets (a bone deformity), delayed motor skills, aches and pains and future bone fractures.

We get about 80% of our Vitamin D recommendation from the suns Ultra Violet (UVB) rays, when the sunshines on our skin our bodies make the Vitamin D, although if the sun is low lying or it is a cloudy, foggy day then our bodies will struggle to make the Vitamin so we need source it from other materials either by suppliments as an adult or from a food source.

Regardless of age a child’s Vitamin D daily requirement is 10 micrograms/400iu

Good Sources of Vitamin D:

  • Oily fish like Salmon and Tuna
  • Egg Yolk
  • Orange Juice
  • Fortified Milk (Formula)
  • Breakfast Cereal
  • Meat
  • Fortified Margarine

How we get our Vitamin D:

Get Active: 10-15 minutes of play a day outside, receiving sun exposure on your arms and legs should be enough for your Vitamin D requirement, remember to apply sunscreen on really hot days. 2-3 days a week during the summer months (April-October) should be enough to get the sufficient amount of Vitamin D.

Eat Healthy: Eating a balanced diet which is rich in dairy and fish

Formula Milk: Infant formula milk is already fortified with Vitamin D and if your child is drinking about a pint (500ml) a day then they will be receiving enough of their daily Vitamin D without having to supplement their diet.

Oliver my 19 month old boy still drinks two bottles of 6oz growing up milk a day, one in the morning after breakfast and one in the evening just before bed, so I ensure he gets the rest of his recommended dosage by giving him a balanced diet. We eat fish twice a week, once on a Friday and another day it will be tuna with pasta, which Oliver prefers to eat over chicken, he drinks lots of orange juice and loves his breakfast cereal so I make sure that it is one that is fortified with Vitamin D. Oliver is a very active boy who is full of energy and is always running and climbing I want to make sure that he stays strong and healthy so he doesn’t at an older age have weak bones. Oliver loves to be in the great outdoors and the weather is nice he will spend most of his time digging playing in the garden, if the suns rays are strong I do take precaution and rub suncream onto his skin, although in order for our bodies to get the sufficient amount of vitamin D from the rays the exposure needs to be without sunscreen.

How would you recommend that we receive our Vitamin D requirement?

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