Vitamin D Is Essential For Healthy Kids
Protect YOUR Family

Healthy for kids, Vitamin D is an awesome way to boost your family’s immune system through the winter AND summer.

All of a sudden we are heading towards winter. There is a noticeable drawing-in of days and increased coughing and sniffing on public transport. As the annual bouts of colds and flu begin to circulate, I thought it a good time to mention vitamin D, a major asset in staying healthy through the long months. Making sure you have enough Vitamin D is super healthy for kids.

Over the last few years, Vitamin D has taken centre stage in supporting immune function, particularly in the fight against respiratory infections. 

Vitamin D has always been associated with the development of healthy bones and teeth. Well, now we know it does more!


Sunny day at the beachGetting Vitamin D from the sun is likely not enough - even in hot sunny countries!

Recent research has revealed that Vitamin D is involved in BOTH:

  1. the first stage defence against viral infections (ie most coughs and colds) 
  2. AND in regulating the inflammatory response…so managing the severity of the symptoms.

So Vitamin D is healthy for kids (and adults!) - a lack will likely result in more coughs/colds and illness.

But what about Vitamin C - the traditional ‘immune system’ booster?

The new (ish!) Public Health England guidelines (July 2016) suggest all adults and children over 1 need 10 micrograms (mcg) of Vitamin D EVERY DAY. Children under 1 need 8-10 mcg. BUT if they are being formula fed over 500ml per day then DON’T supplement, the formula is already supplemented. Here is a link to the UK guidelines.

Of course, Vitamin C is still important but while a mere orange or two on a regular basis would be adequate to maintain levels, Vitamin D is almost impossible to obtain in the diet without using supplements. The most important source of Vitamin D is via the effect of sunlight on the skin, here in the UK we are almost all chronically deficient. 

Historically, Vitamin D would be produced in the skin and stored for use through the winter when the rays of UVB light are not strong enough to make it even if we were willing to expose skin. Now, our busy lifestyles and culture mean that we no longer get enough daylight exposure through the summer to build up our vitamin D reserves. 

This is particularly true for British children who may spend as little time as 30 minutes outside per week.  Those living in very hot climates, those who cover their skin and those with dark skin may are also often deficient when these factors are combined with the use of high factor suncream and sun avoidance. All these factors prevents production of adequate levels of vitamin D to support effective immune function. 

Basically we all need supplementing ALL YEAR ROUND!!

So, what can we do for healthy kids?

Definitely supplement – look for foods (cereals/milk etc) that contain or have been fortified with vitamin D.

TOP TIP

Supplement Vitamin D with Cod Liver Oils such as this one:

Healthy for kids foods:

  • Oily fish - salmon, sardines, mackerel or herring
  • Red meat or liver
  • Egg yolks -the best quality eggs you can get
  • Some cereals or spreads

The best healthy for kids sources of Vitamin D come in oil form (it is fat soluble) and this also gives you a chance to add vital omega oils to your daily nutrition.

Our favourite way to supplement is with cod liver oil!

My children were born in Iceland where people begin to give infants Vitamin D drops at the age of 6 weeks. By the time they are 6 months, they have moved onto ‘krakka lysi’ a form of cod liver oil specially developed for children (lower in vitamin A than adult versions). Now, our children, like other Icelandic children, have a spoon or two of cod liver oil daily and ask for it if I dare to forget! The amounts are actually tiny and the benefits huge so why not give it a go!

We have tried (and enjoyed!) this Krakka Lysi from Ebay:

NIcole’s kids like this Cod Liver Oil* There are choices of a lovely lemon flavour, bubblegum or plain.

Both these options appear relatively expensive at first glance but you only use a few ml per day so they last for ages and are extremely healthy for kids!

And, if you really can’t bear cod liver oil, then at the very minimum take a daily dose of plain vitamin D supplements.

TOP TIP FOR IMMUNE SYSTEM BOOSTING

Vitamin D is essential. Take cod liver oil in whatever form you can! It is healthy for kids!

Check your choice is suitable for healthy kids (adult versions have too much Vitamin A).

Remember, Vitamin D and the right cod liver oil is healthy for kids! I hope you enjoy a cold free winter!

Written by Heather

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