For Kids- The Super Essential Sunshine Vitamin!

sunshine essentials for kids- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Vitamin D, also known as the Sunshine Vitamin is one of the important vitamins required by the body. It keeps the bones and teeth healthy. The body makes most of Vitamin D from sun exposure and a portion from food. It is interesting to note that even though India is a tropical country with abundant sunshine, research shows that most of our kids are deficient in Vitamin D. Even in the summer season, our kids have started playing more of video games indoors and staying away from playing in the sun. Encourage your children to go out whenever possible and be in the sun.  It is also a factor that darker skin does not synthesize Vitamin D as efficiently from the sun as light skin and therefore, needs longer exposure to the sun.

Deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to a disease called Rickets which is evidenced by poor bone mineralization. This manifests as bone weakness, delayed motor development, easy fractures, weak immunity, poor hair growth etc. In developed countries, milk fortified with Vitamin D is available. However, these options are not available in India. Therefore, it is important to focus on getting enough sunlight and eating the right foods.

The following foods are rich in Vitamin D – Try to include them in your diet as much as possible:

-Cod liver oil

-Tofu

-Eggs

-Cheese

-Mushrooms (Button, Shitake)

Since being consistently deficient in Vitamin D can cause long term ill effects like cancer, cardiovascular disease, auto immune disorders and even diabetes , it is a good idea to get your child’s Vitamin D levels checked and start supplements immediately if found low. Also, you can start them on a regimen of cod liver oil capsules every day right away since the possibility of overdosing on Vitamin D through food is almost impossible whereas the drawbacks of being deficient are far worse.

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