It still is winter, and so we don’t get as much sunshine, and thus not as much Vitamin D. And why is Vitamin D important? For lots of reasons, but for babies and kids, it is needed for bone development and to boost the immune system.
The first study to share with you showed that pregnant mommies who ate good Vitamin D foods rather than just taking supplements, had kids who had less hay fever through 7 years of age. This article was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Some high Vitamin D foods that they ate were eggs, fish, dairy, mushrooms and cereals.
A second article showed that breast-fed babies who received Vitamin D supplements had much healthier levels of Vitamin D early on, which helped their bone development. This concern is seen the farther away from the equator a baby is residing, so that the most at risk kids are in Alaska, and in the northern states, in the U.S. However, as more and more kids are being tested for Vitamin deficiencies, we are finding a lot of people are lower than we would have thought. In the past, the only way we knew a child was deficient was when they developed rickets, a very serious bone condition.
In this part of the country we thankfully don’t see many cases of rickets, but we still are finding that our kids are maybe not getting the Vitamin D they need. For breast-fed babies, it is recommended to give a Vitamin D supplement, and often this is included in a multivitamin combination with iron. After the child quits breast feeding, but is not on formula, it also recommended to give a multivitamin, through the first years of toddlerhood. So, ask your doctor about Vitamin D, for everyone, as older folks may benefit, as well. It is winter time, Get that Vitamin D and give that kid a hug.