Tuesday 2 April 2013

Is your toddler getting enough vitamin D in his diet?

One of the things that surprised me bringing up babies and toddlers in France is that they are all routinely prescribed vitamin D for the first months of their lives, particularly if exclusively breastfed, as mine were.

This weekend marked the the UK's first ever Vitamin D Day with the official ambassador of the day, This Morning's resident health expert, Dr Chris Steele, joining forces with GrowingUpMilkInfo.com to help raise awareness about the importance of the vitamin, especially for toddler development.

Read on for more info :


At the dawn of British summertime 2013, growingupmilkinfo.com launched the UK's first Vitamin D Day (31st March) to raise awareness about the importance of the vitamin for toddler development. After such a cold, long winter, and predictions that things are not getting much warmer, the day aims to highlight the alternative ways to top up on vitamin D.

With a recent survey highlighting that the majority of UK mums (91%) don't know the recommended daily intake of vitamin D for toddlers, Vitamin D Day has been created to address misconceptions, and educate the nation's parents, about the role of diet in providing the essential vitamin.

Health expert and ITV's This Morning regular, Dr Chris Steele, who is backing Vitamin D Day, stressed the importance of dietary intake of vitamin D for toddlers. He said: "Many parents don't know how much vitamin D is needed for the normal growth of toddler bones and teeth.

He added: "The low levels of vitamin D in toddler diets is a growing health concern and we need to ensure that our toddlers are getting the best from their diets. Presently, the average British toddler is only getting 27% of their recommended daily dietary vitamin D intake and the sun cannot be relied upon alone to fulfil a toddler's vitamin D needs."

Vitamin D Day aims to educate Brits on the food sources, like oily fish, liver and eggs, as well as foods and milks fortified with vitamin D, such as fortified breakfast cereals and Growing Up Milk, to help top-up vitamin D levels in our little ones' diets.

Leading weather intelligence company Metra Weather expects that the first months of this summertime will not be much better than the washout summer of 2012, with warm summer temperatures not expected until May and another dull and wet July

Growingupmilkinfo.com nutritionist, Dr Leanne Olivier, commented: "With the unpredictable weather, toddlers in the UK are considered vulnerable to low-levels of vitamin D.

"And it's harder to get vitamin D from the sun north of Birmingham with toddlers in the cities of Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds and Sheffield indexing higher for low levels of the vitamin. This also applies to toddlers who have darker skin or cover up for cultural reasons, with this in mind it is imperative that a toddlers' vitamin D intake is supplemented through diet."

To support greater awareness about vitamin D growingupmilkinfo.com has launched its new website which includes vitamin D rich recipes for toddlers and expert health advice and tips, as well as a vitamin D Q&A video with Dr Chris Steele.

For more information on the importance Vitamin D and toddler nutrition, visit growingupmilkinfo.com.

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  1. This is really interesting - I will try & add more of these foods into my son's diet.

  2. Very interesting I have a very fussy eater who will often go without eating at meal times, I give her a multivitamin to try and keep her healthy

  3. Thanks for the post - we're not good on oily fish but eat lots of eggs from the local shop. Also need to get them out as much as possible - even when it's cloudy.

  4. It isn't just toddlers who are at risk. The RDA is so low as to be useless, and in the UK few of us are getting sufficient Vitamin D, which is a cheap supplement which is strongly correlated with lower rates of many illnesses, especially Multiple Sclerosis.

  5. interesting reading, i'm hoping for some sun but its grim up north! will defintly be buying a supplement after reading this


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