Why is Vitamin D so important?
Vitamin D is important for little growing bodies as it assists with the absorption of calcium and helps grow strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D also plays a role in maintaining your little ones muscle function.
But not only that, actions of vitamin D have emerged that go beyond bones, teeth and muscles. In fact, vitamin D also plays a supportive role in the functioning of the immune system in children and adults.
Adequate vitamin D is therefore very important in all age groups. In particular, it is so in the first years of life, when babies and children are experiencing rapid periods of growth. Babies who don’t get enough vitamin D are at risk of poor bone growth and development and rickets.1
What are the main sources of Vitamin D?
- Foods: Unlike other vitamins, only a small amount of Vitamin D comes from our diet. Foods, in general, are low in vitamin D, apart from some, mainly of animal origin, such as salmon, sardines, and eggs. Among the vegetable sources, mushrooms can be mentioned. In Canada, vitamin D is added to cow’s milk and margarine.1 It is not easy to consume the right amount of vitamin D from the diet alone.
- Sunlight: Vitamin D is quite a unique vitamin as it can be produced directly by our body through exposure of the skin to direct sunlight. In fact, most of it is produced in this way. Canada is a northern country so there are times of year when there is not enough sunlight. As well, precautions to protect our skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, darker skin, and clothing all interfere with vitamin D production.1
- Vitamin D Supplements: For babies who are exclusively or partially breastfed, experts recommend a daily supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D. These supplements usually come in liquid form and are given to your baby every day as drops.
Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about how much vitamin D your baby or toddler is getting.
Is Vitamin D supplementation for babies necessary?
It can be difficult for infants and children to achieve adequate Vitamin D intakes for various reasons, including:
- Breast milk is naturally low in Vitamin D.
- Precautions to protect babies and young children from exposure to direct sun. like sunscreen and clothing, are important
- Vitamin D-rich foods (e.g. Oily fish, egg yolks, organ meat) are not commonly consumed regularly in early life.
In Canada, experts recommend that exclusively and partially breastfed infants are supplemented with 400 IU of vitamin D each day.2 Cow’s milk is fortified with vitamins A & D, so toddlers who consume 1 – 1 ½ cups of cow’s milk per day may be getting enough vitamin D.3
Talk to your doctor about ways you can ensure that your little one is receiving enough vitamin D.
How can Gerber® Supplements for Baby Vit-D + DHA help my baby?
Gerber Supplements for Baby Vitamin D + DHA drops provide the expert recommended daily dose of 400 IU of Vitamin D for exclusively and partially breastfed babies and help to build strong bones and teeth in infants and young children.
Gerber® Supplements for Baby are a daily vitamin D drop supplement that also contains DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid, which supports normal brain function.
Features and benefits:
- Helps to build strong bones and teeth
- Source of Vitamin D, a source of factor in normal growth and development.
- Supports normal brain function
- No flavour, no colours, no sweeteners
- Convenient drops format, use 8 drops once daily
1. Canadian Paediatric Society. Caring for Kids. Vitamin D. July 2021. Accessed April 2023. Vitamin D | Caring for kids (cps.ca)
2. Health Canada, Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, & Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants: Recommendations from Birth to Six Months. 2012.
3. Health Canada, Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada, & Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants: Recommendations from Six to 24 Months. 2014.
Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, & Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants: Recommendations from Birth to Six Months. 2012.
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