To support all this growth, it’s crucial to give them the right amount of vitamins and minerals, particularly the 'sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D, which is important for normal bone development. Few parents realise how difficult it can be for children to get enough of this nutrient, which is why the Vitamin D Mission is here.
D is for Difficult to get!
We can get vitamin D from two natural sources: the sun and certain foods. However, it can be difficult for children to get the vitamin D they need from either of these sources.
This is because, although our bodies can produce vitamin D when the sun shines on our skin, we cannot absorb it even if it's sunny between October and March. And since children's delicate skin needs sun protection, this can reduce the amount of vitamin D they produce.
Did you know that, on average, children in the UK only get 27% of their daily dietary vitamin D*? Very few foods contain vitamin D. Oily fish, such as salmon, is a good source of vitamin D, but not all little ones find these foods that yummy.
The Vitamin D Mission is a public health awareness campaign that aims to eradicate vitamin D deficiency in UK children below 5 years of age. Cow & Gate Growing Up Milk is proud to support the Vitamin D Mission, in partnership with the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Kellogg's and BetterYou.
As part of the Mission website, there’s a handy Vitamin D calculator to help you work out if your little one is getting enough of this all-important nutrient. Why not take the test and see how much vitamin D your little one is getting?
The Mission website also provides information on the sources of vitamin D available for your little one.
100% Vitamin D for your little oneLuckily, there are several simple things you can do to help your little one get all the vitamin D they need. These include:
- Being out in the sun (keep it safe and avoid the midday heat)
- Choosing the right foods
- Giving them a vitamin supplement
- Using fortified milks
Did you know, just 2 x 150ml beakers a day of Cow & Gate Growing Up Milk can provide at least 100% vitamin D**? Just one of the ways for your little one to reach their daily dietary vitamin D.
*From food sources alone. Bates B et al. National Diet and Nutrition Survey: headline results from Years 1-4 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2008/2009-2011/2012). London: HMSO, 2014.
**The Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) for vitamin D is 7mcg/day. 2 beakers = 2x150ml. In 2 beakers, Growing Up Milk 1-2 years powder provides 132% (9.3mcg/day) RNI. Growing Up Milk 2-3 years powder provides 124% (8.7mcg/day) RNI. Use as part of a balanced diet