Eating a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals is important for the growth and development of young kids. Of all the essential nutrients, perhaps none is as significant as vitamin D. Unfortunately, vitamin D is found in only a few kinds of foods. That’s why we recommend that parents be aware of their children’s vitamin D intake in order to ensure they are getting all they need. After recent studies showed that a large number of American children were not getting the necessary amount of daily vitamin D, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reacted swiftly by increasing their recommended amount of vitamin D for children and adolescents.
What makes vitamin D so essential is the way it helps the body absorb minerals like calcium and phosphorus. This is crucial for building strong teeth and bones. Additionally, vitamin D serves as a hormone with many other important functions like regulating the immune system, insulin production, and cell growth. Kids who do not get the recommended amount of vitamin D have a higher risk for bone diseases like rickets or increased bone fractures and may not reach their peak for natural growth or bone mass.
Drinking milk can be a nice source of vitamin D, but it alone is not enough. With this in mind, the providers at Children’s Wellness Center have provided a list of additional foods that contain vitamin D:
- Fish like salmon and mackerel
- Fortified dairy products like yogurt, margarine and American cheese
- Fortified cereals
- Egg yolks
- Canned tuna
If your child isn’t able to get the recommended 400 IU of daily vitamin D through diet, there are vitamin D supplements we can recommend. These can be especially helpful for infants who are breast-fed since breast milk does not supply vitamin D to your baby. Any chewable multivitamin with 400 IU of vitamin D should get the job done. Chewable vitamins may not be safe for kids under the age of three who are not able to chew hard foods or candy. For kids too young for chewable vitamins, there are liquid vitamin preparations as well.
If you have any questions about vitamin D and how it may affect your child’s growth and development, don’t hesitate to reach out to the healthcare providers at Children’s Wellness Center. Our providers will work hard to answer your questions and ease your concerns about proper nutrition for your child. Contact Children’s Wellness Center today at (404) 303-1314. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more news and updates.