Sunlight is natural and the best source of vitamin D!   Sure we know that, and also we know our children need to play outdoors to get their daily share of those important vitamin D benefits.  But as parents we also tend to worry about ultraviolet rays, bad weather, mosquitos, allergies, bugs and every other problem hanging loose in the outdoors and needless to say, there is minimum sunlight during winter months.  But at least are we giving them supplements of vitamin D?  As adults, we too often miss out on vitamin D benefits due to our "cooped-up" lifestyles.  If this is the situation, a vitamin D supplement is probably what you need for you and your family!

Why does your body need vitamin D?

•    To absorb calcium and phosphorus
•    For bone mineralization
•    To reduce inflammation
•    To build immunity
•    For muscle strength
•    For cell formation

Low vitamin D symptoms and associated health risks:

Vitamin D is fat soluble and is stored in the body.  It is essential for strong bones, stamina and overall health.   As adults we need 600 IU of vitamin D; seniors (older than 70) require 800 IU and children need 400 IU per day.   So what are some low vitamin D symptoms and possible resulting health issues?  The threats are many!  The deficiency leads to risks of heart disease, osteoporosis, rickets, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer and a poor immune system. On the other hand, too much vitamin D is no good either.  Hypervitaminosis D is the name for the toxicity that occurs when there is an excess of vitamin D. This leads to hypercalcemia, a condition that occurs with high levels of calcium in your blood.  As a result you may experience low appetite, nausea and urinary problems.

Foods enriched with vitamin D:

Children and healthy diets seldom go hand in hand.  Kids do love their junk food over dairy and vegetables, and we do allow it to some extent.  But how to make sure, they get their daily share foods with vitamin D, especially during those sunless winter months? Besides scheduled soccer practice and bike rides in the bright sun, sneak in to your child’s diet- fish, dairy, eggs and mushrooms to give their fair share of vitamin D foods.   What do we do with the fussy ones with that uncanny gift of smell, shrinking away at every fresh recipe?  Vitamin D supplements should solve your problem!  One dose of supplement should take care of the required vitamin D intake. 

Vitamin D benefits are many and necessary to a healthy body… let’s not forget:

1.    Children and outdoors are like ocean sand and long walks - made for each other!  Take time to make sure your children play outdoors, in a safe place supervised by a responsible adult.
2.    Provide Vitamin D rich foods such as dairy, fish, eggs and mushrooms!  Hide it in pasta, sandwiches or soups for the fussy ones.
3.    Vitamin D supplements, one a day will make sure you and your kids have strong bones, good appetite and in-built resistance.  
4.    D for Dynamic! D for Daylight! D for Diets!  Be sure to consult your doctor before starting any supplement!