As winter is now fully upon us and the sun is very low in the sky, the sunlight is not strong enough to make any vitamin D in our skin as it was in the summer months.
So it is now more important than ever to make sure you and your little ones are getting enough vitamin D, which is important not only for bone health but also the immune system.
The Department of Health recommends that all children aged six months to five years should take a daily supplement of vitamin D all year round to ensure they are meeting the recommended daily amount. It is also recommended that all breastfeeding and pregnant women take a daily supplement of 10 micrograms, so vitamin D supplements should be an important staple in any home with young children.
>> READ: WHY VITAMIN D IS IMPORTANT FOR PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING MUMS
Most multivitamin supplements contain vitamin D, but choosing a liquid vitamin D supplement such as Colief Vitamin D3 Drops means you can easily give your little one and you your daily dose from one bottle.
Most foods don’t contain any vitamin D. The only foods that will help keep vitamin D levels topped up are:
Oily fish has the largest natural source of vitamin D, so you should try to eat it once or twice a week.
Eggs contain small amounts of vitamin D and can provide a little of the vitamin in of the many dishes and foods they are included in.
Meats such as beef, pork, lamb, turkey and chicken contain very small amounts of vitamin D. If you eat meat it is a good idea to include them in you and your children’s diets four or five times a week.
In the UK only a few foods are fortified with vitamin D. These include some breakfast cereals, yogurts, breads, margarines and evaporated milk, so try to choose these fortified foods when you can.
Formula milks for babies and toddlers
These milks are all fortified with small amounts of vitamin D but your little ones drinking these milks should still take the recommended vitamin D supplement.
Judy More is a registered dietician and registered nutritionist who specialises in child nutrition. She is an honorary lecturer at Plymouth University and a member of the Royal Society of Medicine, the Association for Nutrition and SENSE Nutrition. Judy set up her Child Nutrition consultancy after many years of experience working as a paediatric dietician in NHS hospitals and community trusts. Judy is a member of the Colief Expert Panel which also comprises GP Dr Jumoke Thomas, child psychologist Dr Maggie Redshaw and health visitor Dawn Kelly.