Vitamin D has really become more and more important in the diet and although your body can make vitamin D when the UV rays from the sun hit the skin, in Ireland we don’t get enough of the right UV rays to provide us with enough vitamin D. Also sun creams which are important in preventing skin damage have any effect too.
We know from research in Ireland that toddlers aren’t getting enough vitamin D, along with iron in their diets.
As you know it’s your job to make sure that your growing, bouncing, dancing, energetic little toddler is getting everything they need. This isn’t an easy job!
Why is vitamin D important?
Vitamin D helps their little bodies take in and use calcium, to help support their growing bones! They grow so fast at this stage (it feels like every time I look at one of my kids they have out grown their clothes! They really are only small for such a short period of time)
Where can you get vitamin D?
Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D.
- Oily fish (e.g. salmon, herring and mackerel) are the only significant sources.
- Eggs and meat provide very small amounts.
- Vitamin D fortified foods e.g. cereals and milks
Getting enough vitamin D is difficult to achieve due to the lack of sunshine in Ireland (when I win the lotto I’m heading somewhere sunny!) and the limited number of foods rich in vitamin D. Do your best to encourage your little one to eat oily fish, vitamin D fortified foods and eggs each week to boost their vitamin D intake. Good luck!