Okay Super Parents, it’s winter — meaning icky viruses have the advantage. We need an Immunity Superstar to step up to the plate and hit this one outta the park!
Who are we calling? (Not Ghostbusters. . .)
But in order to give the immune system the win, we need to boost that Vitamin D! Here’s how you can help your kiddo get more Vitamin D this winter and defeat the icky viruses on their home turf.
Why Vitamin D?
If you’re wondering why Vitamin D and not, say, Vitamin C, you’re not alone. All those orange juice advertisements and even doctor recommendations had us believing that Vitamin C was the sole player in this game.
Now, we’re not saying you shouldn’t boost those Vitamin C levels (although sugar-packed orange juice isn’t the best way). In fact, Invincible Vitamin C is on the Immunity Superstar Team! But with all that fame, other immune boosters like Vitamin D fell to the wayside.
So, let’s give Vitamin D the credit it deserves.
Benefits of Vitamin D
For starters, Vitamin D is an immune booster. It’s been shown that Vitamin D (along with Vitamin C and Zinc) protects against the common cold and flu, both in duration and severity.
But that’s not all. Vitamin D may even shield us from the winter blues!
Research shows that those suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) tend to be Vitamin D deficient and are encouraged to treat and even prevent SAD through Vitamin D supplementation.
Now, to be clear, kiddos aren’t usually prone to SAD. But still a great insight into all the amazing ways this little vitamin is helping us stay happy and healthy.
And if that wasn’t enough, Vitamin D also has a positive effect on digestion, immunity, and even a possible mood boosting benefit. Nice to know the next time you’re stuck indoors with a cranky toddler.
How to Boost Vitamin D
Now that we’ve given this little guy the credit he deserves, let’s see how we can boost our Vitamin D levels this winter.
Get Outdoors: When it’s colder than a puppy’s nose outside, we don’t blame you for staying indoors! But getting adequate sunlight is the number one way to boost Vitamin D. Studies show that just 10-30 minutes of direct sunlight a few times per week is all it takes to keep Vitamin D at a healthy level.
Eat Vitamin D-Rich Foods: If going outside is out of the question, or on days when the sun is playing hide-n-seek, eating Vitamin-D rich foods are another way to boost those levels. There are plenty of kid-friendly Vitamin D recipes even picky eaters will love.
Vitamin D Supplementation: Made for picky eaters and moms-on-the-go, a Vitamin D supplement for kids is a great way to fill in those nutrition gaps. Just make sure you’re opting for Vitamin D3 — not its cheaper counterpart, D2. And keep an eye on those sugars and fillers.
Now let’s boost that Vitamin D and defeat the icky viruses this winter!