Vitamins and minerals are important for maintaining our body’s nutritional needs. Often, that comes from a healthy, balanced diet and exercise.
When you think of strong bones and teeth, usually calcium comes to mind, but calcium needs Vitamin D to be most effective. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble hormone that the body needs to absorb calcium. We need this teamwork for strong, healthy bones and teeth.
When you are deficient in vitamin D, it can lead to bone fractures, muscle weakness and eventually other problems, so it’s important to pay close attention and make sure that we are giving our children’s bodies (and our own) what they need to stay healthy and strong.
How do you make sure your child gets enough Vitamin D? Sun exposure helps, but sadly much of it is blocked when you wear sunscreen, and going without sunscreen can cause a whole host of other problems. The other logical option is to get vitamin D from food.
Vitamin D is found in natural and fortified foods such as:
- dairy products
- orange juice
- fish like tuna, sardines, and salmon
- some mushrooms
However, consuming foods high in vitamin D is sometimes not enough to get the recommended daily allowance, so supplementation with vitamins may be needed.
Here are some quick tips from the American Academy of Pediatricians:
- Children who drink less than 32oz of vitamin D-fortified formula or milk every day should receive a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU a day.
- Adolescents who do not get 600 IU of vitamin D per day through foods should receive a supplement containing that amount.
- Children with an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency may need a higher dose of vitamin D. Speak to your pediatrician.