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
- 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?