Hello, again parents! You may have been hearing a lot about Vitamin D lately. And you’re probably wondering, what is all the hype about?
Vitamin D deficiency has been on the rise, especially for kids who do not get enough sun exposure. But even if where you live has plenty of sunny days, your child still may not be getting the amount of Vitamin D they need. If you slather your kids with sunscreen (like myself) or if you cover them up for sun protection or for religious or cultural reasons, they may be at risk for Vitamin D deficiency.
You may have already heard that Vitamin D is needed for strong bones, but it can be hard to come by because it's found in few foods. And those foods are not very kid-friendly - trust me.
Unfortunately for most children, diet alone does not provide sufficient Vitamin D intake – most children in the United States only get around 10% of their vitamin D from dietary sources. That’s just not going to cut it.
Vitamin D is more important than you think.
But before you start to integrate more Vitamin D into your child’s diet, it is helpful for you to understand why it is so important. There are many benefits of Vitamin D, and we’ve put together a short list of what you should know:
Vitamin D helps to build strong bones and teeth
Vitamin D plays a major role in regulating calcium in your child’s body, and also helps to maintain phosphorus levels in the blood, both which are important to build healthy bones.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, a bone-softening disease that continues to be reported in the United States mostly in children in the first two years of life. It is often characterized in children by a severely “bow-legged” appearance.
Vitamin D can help with overall immunity
Studies have shown that children who are given adequate amounts of Vitamin D per day have a reduced risk of catching influenza and other common viral infections. If your kids attend preschool - or any school really - making sure they are getting enough Vitamin D could save you a lot of time and trouble. We all know that sick kids are no fun, so this is a great reason to supplement a little more Vitamin D to their diets!
Vitamin D can improve your child’s overall mood
They don’t call it the “sunshine vitamin” for nothing! Vitamin D, specifically Vitamin D3, has been proven to help with general moodiness and depression in children, especially during the winter months. Since it generally promotes healthy mood, Vitamin D3, can help your kids get through the winter season slump!
Vitamin D can lower body fat in children
There is some evidence that children who have higher levels of Vitamin D also have less body fat. Although there is still a lot of research to be done on this topic when it comes to children, studies have shown that Vitamin D could potentially reduce the formation of new fat cells in the body, leaving your child with a leaner muscle mass. This is important because your child would be at less risk for childhood obesity, another growing problem in the United States.
Now that you know some of the benefits of Vitamin D for kids, be sure to come back to our Picky Eater blog for tips on how to make sure kids get enough vitamin D :-)
See you next time parents!
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