Vitamin D: Why and How to Increase Vitamin D in Your Children’s Diet
Vitamin D is a unique vitamin in that, unlike other vitamins, it is not contained in most foods. The human body produces vitamin D in response to sun exposure. There are two kinds of vitamin D: vitamin D2 found in plant-based diets and vitamin D3 found in animal-based foods.
Vitamin D3, which is known to boost blood levels of vitamin D, affects about 2000 genes inside the body. Vitamin D3 is one of the most important nutrients for children since it supports healthy growth, development, and well-being.
According to studies, many youngsters aren’t getting enough of this important vitamin, which helps them develop strong and healthy. Because to lifestyle changes and sunscreen use, around 42% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. An estimated 15% of children aged one to eleven are vitamin D deficient. Furthermore, researchers discovered that 17% of adolescents and 32% of young adults were vitamin D deficient.
Why do children require vitamin D?
Vitamin D is beneficial to bone health. It ensures that the body receives and maintains enough calcium and phosphorus, which are both necessary for healthy bones and the prevention of rickets. Rickets is a bone-softening condition that can afflict developing children, particularly those under the age of two. In older children, teenagers, and adults, vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of fractured bones.
Vitamin D is also important for immune system response and has been related to mental health. According to research, people who are deficient in vitamin D may be more prone to depression.
When will my child require vitamin D? And how much is it?
From the moment they are born, all child needs vitamin D.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends:
• Babies below the age of 12 months requires 400 IU of vitamin D each day. Every day, toddlers, older children, and teenagers require 600 IU of vitamin D.
• With mounting research demonstrating vitamin D’s long-term health benefits, the AAP increased its recommended daily intake for children in 2008.
How can you get enough vitamin D into your child’s diet?
A serving of salmon contains all of the vitamin D that youngsters require each day, but a similar amount of canned tuna has less than half. Even though youngsters would need to consume around 10 eggs per day to meet their requirements, eggs do contain a little amount of vitamin D. (in the yolk). Mushrooms naturally contain vitamin D, and some are UV-treated to boost the vitamin content.
Fortified forms of foods such as milk, yoghurt, cereal, and orange juice may appear to be an easier way to get your child’s required daily dose of D. Sunlight can also supply vitamin D to youngsters because it converts a molecule in the skin into an active form of D.