Too many kids don’t get enough vitamin D
Kids need vitamins to help them grow strong and healthy. But a new study in this month’s Pediatrics journal finds that nearly 7 out of 10 kids aren’t getting enough vitamin D. This is alarming because vitamin D is an important nutrient in preventing bone-weakening diseases in children as well as other health complications that can occur later in life, like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
The study examined over 6,000 children aged 1-21 and found that kids who spent more time watching TV, playing video games or using computers and drank milk less than once a week were more likely to have lower levels of vitamin D.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies, children and adolescents get 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day. Babies who are breastfeed can get this nutrient from vitamin D drops. Your baby’s pediatrician can and should prescribe multivitamin drops containing vitamin D to breastfed babies starting in the first 2 months of life.
Kids can get the right amount of vitamin D by eating foods that are fortified with vitamin D, taking a children’s multivitamin with vitamin D, and by spending some time playing outside in the sunshine (sunlight is a good source of vitamin D).