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Why is Vitamin D so important for kids?

The Irish Osteoporosis Society has called on parents to keep vitamin D intake top of mind as we head for the winter months.

Known as the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D is the only vitamin that the body makes itself, when the skin is directly exposed to sunshine.

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It has long been recognised as having an essential role in bone health as it enables our bodies to absorb and use the calcium we get from the food and drink we consume.

Some 88% of primary school children in Ireland have been reported to have vitamin D intakes below the recommended amount.

Speaking about the essential need for parents to take care of their children’s bones, Professor Moira O’Brien, founder of the Irish Osteoporosis Society said:

“The vitamin D we make from the sun in the summer months has to last through the winter season, but unfortunately the bad weather this summer meant that many Irish children weren’t able to play outside as much as usual.

From October to March, we do not make vitamin D from the sun due to the short days and quality of the sunlight. So, it’s essential that parents ensure their children get enough vitamin D, calcium and high quality protein through their diet as we head into winter

Dietary sources of vitamin D such as oily fish and egg yolks can be hard to include in a child’s diet regularly, but using fortified foods, such as fortified milk is one of the easiest ways to boost vitamin D intake."

A 250ml glass of Avonmore Super Milk provides 100% of the reference intake of vitamin D and is a great source of calcium. Starting the morning off with a bowl of wholegrain cereal with Avonmore Super Milk ensures children are well on their way to getting their daily vitamin D intake and one of their recommended 3-5 servings of dairy each day.

Vitamin D supports the absorption and utilisation of calcium and the maintenance of normal bones and teeth.

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*Figures sourced from IUNA, National Children's Food Survey 2005 and Adults Survey 2011
* A 250ml serving of Avonmore Super Milk provides 5μg (micrograms) or 100% of the EU Reference Intake for vitamin D. Consume as part of a varied and balanced diet and active lifestyle.
* For vitamin D recommendations for infants consult your healthcare professional.

For more on kids’ healthy eating please see
our Food and Nutrition page.