Vitamin Series - Vitamin D


Posted 1.5.10 | Christine Graham-Garo

I hope everyone’s New Year is off to a great start! We are excited to begin 2010 with our Vitamin Series. Each week we will highlight interesting facts about a different vitamin and provide tips to help you make sure your kids are getting enough of each one. This week we are going to focus on vitamin D.

Vitamin D has been in the news lately due to a recent study that showed that as many as 70% of children have a deficiency in this vitamin! (http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/08/03/vitamin.d.children/). A second study found that children with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to have high blood pressure and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as “healthy” cholesterol — two issues that are considered major risk factors for heart disease later in life. A deficiency in vitamin D also results in Rickets.

In October of 2008, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) increased their recommendations for vitamin D by 100%, from 200 IU/d to 400 IU/d for infants, children, and adolescents.

So how come so many children are not getting enough vitamin D? One theory has to do with how our bodies get vitamin D. While you can get it from certain foods such as oily fish and egg yolks, the majority of our vitamin D is derived from sun exposure. And in today’s world with computer technology, TVs galore, Xboxes and Wiis; children are just not playing outside as much as they used to.

Not to worry! Here are a few ways to make sure you and your family are getting enough vitamin D.

  1. Try to eat more foods that are high in vitamin D. Unfortunately, if your little one has a cow’s milk allergy, vitamin D can be trickier to get from food. Because of this, you may want to…
  2. Take supplements such as a multivitamin. Whichever vitamins you choose, be sure to check with the manufacturer to ensure they are allergen-free and will be tolerated by your little one.
  3. Look into formulas, like Neocate, which meet the new AAP guidelines if they are taken as a sole source of nutrition and meeting the child’s calorie needs.
  4. Send your little ones out to play in the yard for about 10-15 minutes (without sunscreen) to get the vitamin D amounts they need. Make sure to time them! You don’t want them to get a sunburn!

What do you think of this new finding? How do you make sure that your family gets enough vitamin D?

- Christine

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Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.