Optimizing your child's nutrition early on (namely, before their second birthday) ensures the best possible start in life.
Without the right children's vitamins and minerals, however, your child could experience malnutrition. About 45% of deaths among children under the age of 5 are due to undernutrition.
When focusing on your children's nutritional needs, it's important not to forget vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for strong immune systems and healthy bones. Focusing on vitamin D for kids can ensure your child reaps the benefits of proper nutrition.
What are the benefits of getting enough vitamin D? Keep reading to find out!
In this guide, we'll review everything you need to know about vitamin D for your child. If they're deficient, finding the best vitamins for kids could help. Read on to learn more!
What is Vitamin D?
Before we dive into the benefits of vitamin D for kids, let's talk about vitamin D as a whole.
Vitamin D differs from other vitamins. In fact, it's a steroid hormone. Your body produces vitamin D from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
Sunlight alone won't provide your children with enough vitamin D, though. They'll need to get this important vitamin from their diet or supplements, too. Liquid vitamins for kids could help your child get the daily amount of vitamin D they need.
Unfortunately, about 41.6% of the population has a vitamin D deficiency. Without vitamin D, your child might develop rickets. Rickets is a bone disease that's common among children in developing countries.
Vitamin D deficiency could also lead to osteoporosis as your child grows older. Older adults experience reduced mineral density and an increased risk of falls and fractures.
People with low vitamin D levels have a higher risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, dementia, and autoimmune diseases. It could reduce your child's life expectancy, too.
Finding a multivitamin for kids that contains vitamin D could help your child avoid a deficiency.
What does vitamin D do, exactly?
Your body converts vitamin D into calcidiol, which is later turned into calcitriol. Calcitriol is able to bind with vitamin D receptors in the body cells. Then, it's able to turn genes on and off.
Vitamin D is therefore able to affect various cells related to your gut and bone health.
Why is Vitamin D Important for Kids?
Now that you know a little more about vitamin D as a whole, let's discuss vitamin D for kids.
Vitamin D is associated with stronger immune systems and bones. It might even help with disease prevention.
Here's a deeper look into how vitamin D might benefit your child's overall health.
Most parents focus on calcium when it comes to their child's health. However, vitamin D is important, too.
The human body can only absorb calcium when vitamin D is present. With that in mind, it's important to make sure your child gets both vitamins while they're still developing. Otherwise, your child's risk of rickets could increase.
Their bones could become weak and soft as a result. Their legs might appear bowed, too.
Finding children's vitamins that contain vitamin D and calcium together can improve your child's bone health. This crucial vitamin might even improve the physical strength of your child's upper and lower limbs.
Children are exposed to germs every single day. Thankfully, you can improve their immune system with vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an important part in your child's immunity.
In fact, vitamin D might even protect your child against viral respiratory infections, too.
In addition to improving your child's immunity, vitamin D might improve your child's morality, too. Some studies suggest vitamin D reduces people's risk of dying. It could help them live longer as a result.
Kid's vitamins that contain vitamin D might reduce your child's risk of type 1 diabetes. In one study on infants, vitamin D led to a 78% reduced risk of type 1 diabetes.
It might help prevent cancer, too. One study noted that vitamin D and calcium reduced cancer risk by 60%.
How Much Vitamin D Should Kids Get Daily?
Before giving your child a multivitamin for kids, make sure to consult your doctor. They'll help you determine your child's specific health needs.
Otherwise, infants under the age of 12 months should receive 400 IU per day. Older children and adolescents should receive 600 IU a day.
If your baby is fully or partially breastfed, they can benefit from 400 IU through vitamin D supplements. Consider purchasing liquid vitamins for kids for younger children. Your child can take these vitamins until they're drinking milk that's fortified with vitamin D.
Breast milk doesn't contain enough vitamin D to meet a growing infant's needs.
Food Sources of Vitamin D
In addition to finding the best vitamins for kids, you can also add vitamin D to your child's diet. However, there are only a few foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D.
For example, you can start adding more fish to your child's diet. Salmon contains all the vitamin D children need for the day. Canned tuna, however, only contains half of the necessary amount.
Egg yolks also contain a small amount of vitamin D. Unfortunately, children would need to eat about 10 eggs a day to meet their daily needs!
Consider adding more mushrooms to your child's diet. Some mushrooms are treated with UV light. This process boosts their vitamin content.
You can also help your child get their daily amount of vitamin D through fortified foods like:
- Orange juice
Otherwise, head outside with your child! Sun exposure can help your child get more vitamin D, even if they're wearing sunscreen.
If you're struggling to help your child get enough vitamin D through their diet, consider kid's vitamins instead. Vitamin D for kids can help your child remain healthy and strong.
Vitamin D for Kids: Your Guide to Happier, Healthier Kids
Prioritizing vitamin D for kids can help your child maintain healthy bones and a strong immune system. Consider purchasing a multivitamin for kids to ensure your child gets the vitamin D they need. Otherwise, add foods like fortified orange juice and salmon to your child's diet.
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