There is growing evidence that Vitamin D helps prevent the development of osteoporosis and other diseases, including some forms of cancer and heart disease. But most children are not getting enough of this essential vitamin and mineral in their diets. The University of California at Davis has created a new cookbook, Food with Vitamin D for Babies, which provides delicious recipes for infants starting as young as one day old, as well as toddlers age 1-3 years old.
Food With Vitamin D For Babies
Vitamin D has always been important. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it’s a powerful, fat-soluble vitamin that helps boost calcium absorption, provides immune system support, promotes healthy cell growth, and helps reduce inflammation. Basically, it’s essential. But it has gotten some more attention recently with the American Academy of Pediatrics noting the results of a recent study that found babies might not be getting enough vitamin D from their diet.
or infants, the AAP recommended daily liquid vitamin D supplements, particularly if they are breast-fed. But for babies who are a bit older, there are foods they can be fed that will help boost vitamin D intake. Adding the following baby-safe, vitamin D rich foods can mean healthier babies and healthier kids down the line.
How Much Vitamin D Does My Child Need?
Vitamin D is measured in international units (IU).
- Babies younger than 1 year old need 400 IU of vitamin D a day. Baby formula has 400 IU per liter, so babies who drink at least 32 ounces of formula each day get enough. If your baby drinks only breast milk or gets less than 32 ounces of formula each day, ask your health care provider about giving your baby a vitamin D supplement.
- Kids older than 1 year need 600 IU or more of vitamin D a day. Health care providers often want healthy kids to take 600 to 1,000 IU daily.
Some kids might need more vitamin D, such as those who:
- have certain medical problems (for instance, obesity, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, multiple fractures, or bone pain)
- are healing from bone surgery (such as after fusion surgery for scoliosis)
- are taking medicines (like anti-seizure medicines) that block the way the body uses vitamin D
Your health care provider can talk to you about whether your child needs a vitamin D supplement.
How Can I Help My Child Get Enough Vitamin D?
Because vitamin D is so important, you’ll want to be sure your child gets enough. Giving your child a daily supplement or a multivitamin with vitamin D is the easiest way to do this.
Health care providers might order a blood test if they think a health problem is keeping a child from getting enough vitamin D. If doctors don’t think your child has a health problem, there’s no need for a blood test.