How To Deal With Vitamin D Deficiency In Children During Winters?
Created by Huda Shaikh Updated on Oct 31, 2018
Our body requires a plethora of nutrients in order to function well, including Vitamin D, which is a fat-soluble vitamin, naturally, present only in a few foods, and otherwise acquired when sunlight touches your skin. While there are numerous sources of Vitamin D for non-vegetarians, being vegetarian mommies, you need to go the extra mile to ensure that their child is getting enough Vitamin D from the food he or she is eating. Our nutrition expert, Huda Shaikh, shares some tips.
Read on to find out more about this ‘Sunshine Vitamin' and why it is important for your child especially during winters.
Why Is Vitamin D Essential For Your Child?
Time and again, we hear advice about going out in the morning sunshine for Vitamin D. So why is Vitamin D so important for your child? Here's why
- It is required for mineralization of bones, modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune functions, and also helps in preventing inflammation. It helps prevent osteoporosis later in life
- Vitamin D has the role of a hormone, with important tasks such as immune system regulation and producing insulin. So if your child has had an injury, Vitamin D is an important factor in helping the bones heal well
How Much Vitamin D Should My Child Be Getting?
For babies who are younger than one year, the daily requirement is about 10mcg, and for children older than 12 months it is 15mcg. While it is rare, it is possible for a child to get too much vitamin D. Since this vitamin is stored in the tissues, it isn't recommended to get more than what the body needs. [Learn Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms, Risks for Babies]
Vegetarian Sources Of Vitamin D
If you live in a place where you barely see the sun during winter, make sure you include foods that are rich in Vitamin D. It has been noticed that vegetarians are more susceptible to Vitamin D deficiencies, so here are some vegetarian foods which, if consumed on daily basis, can help in increasing the Vitamin D levels.
- Soymilk, fortified with Vitamin D
- Almond milk, fortified with Vitamin D
- Orange juice, fortified with 25% Vitamin D
- Yogurt, fortified with 20% Vitamin D
- Milk, fortified with vitamin D
- Swiss cheese
- Soy yogurt, fortified with Vitamin D
More Tips To Maintain Vitamin D Levels
Apart from consuming the foods mentioned above, here are some other steps you can take. After all, prevention is always better than cure!
- Reach out for sunlight every day for about 10-15 minutes, between 8-10 am. A walk in the neighbourhood before you leave for work will ensure that you get your dose of vitamin D
- Try and look for foods that are fortified with Vitamin D, especially if you're a vegetarian
- Don't skip those checkups. Get your Vitamin D levels checked every month to avoid deficiency
- Opt for a supplement, but do not self-medicate; always consult a doctor. Taking a vitamin D supplement regularly helps maintains the required levels
ParentuneTip: Though all the items mentioned above are good sources of Vitamin D, you can't depend on any single one, so ensure that you maintain a healthy balance.
These are just a few solutions to help you fight low levels of Vitamin D in your child. Have some thoughts or tips? Share your views and feedback in the comments section below.
| Mar 13, 2017
Hi Sharayu,Hope you are doing good :) If you are worried about the Vitamin D levels of your child then you can check with your Dr. and he might ask you to get a test done. However children can be at a risk of vitamin D deficiency if 1)Their entire skin is covered. 2)Very little exposure to sunlight,mostly your child plays indoor with the Phone,tab or watches Tv rather than playing outside. 3)Basically has more of a wheatish complexion. 4)Or has been breast fed by a mom who herself is Vitamin D deficient. If your child has been on formula feed then you need not worry as formula feed has high levels of Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is manifested as Bone pain or tenderness of bones,dental deformities,growth impairment,increased bone fractures,muscle cramps,skeletal deformities and short stature. Hope this helps :)
| Mar 13, 2017
Hi Mukesh, Hope you are doing good. You can check with your Dr. for getting the vitamin D levels checked. The recommended Vitamin D levels are 15mcg per day or a child older than 1 yr. As stated in the article we have some good nveg sources of Vitamin D but very few sources of vegetarian vitamin D sources. Hence fortified sources are the only veg sources of Vitamin D. Only mushroom,tofu,milk and swiss cheese are veg sources of Vitamin D. Rest all the foods are fortified with Vitamin D and as we know sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D till date :)