The body is an amazing thing. It takes in a variety of nutrients and turns them into the building blocks of a healthy, happy body. Among the important vitamins for the body is Vitamin D, which works in concert with other nutrients to ensure that the body runs properly and is strong. Isn't that what everyone wants for their kids?
Vitamin D isn't a nutrient that the body can make itself. Nor is it something that is easily gotten in a variety of natural sources. Here's what you need to know about this important vitamin, how to get it and why your kids need it.
Everyone - young and old - needs Vitamin D for their bones. However, for children it's also really important since they are growing. "Vitamin D and calcium are important for proper bone development and growth. Without Vitamin D, bone diseases such as Ricketts can develop. Calcium also aids in the body's cellular function. Vitamin D allows for proper absorption and function of the calcium," says Board Certified Pediatrician Dr. Joseph Skoloff of Nova Medical & Urgent Care Center, Inc. in Asburn, Va.
Ricketts is the most common problem with not getting enough Vitamin D, says Nutritionist Jennifer Haas of Nova Medical & Urgent Care Center. "[Ricketts is] poor bone development, so the bone doesn't develop properly [and as a result] kids don't walk properly," says Haas
So, how much do kids need? The amount of Vitamin D that kids need to consume has risen in recent years thanks to new research. Skoloff says that the current recommendation is that children should get 400 IU of Vitamin D everyday--the equivalent of drinking one quart of milk per day.
Since the body can't just make Vitamin D, your need to get it elsewhere ... but from where?
Milk is fortified with Vitamin D, making it a great source. Some yogurts and orange juice formulas are also fortified with Vitamin D. Other foods like some cereals are also fortified with Vitamin D. Fish like salmon and tuna naturally contain Vitamin D, as do egg yolks.
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