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Health Information For Parents
Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps the body take in calcium from the foods that we eat. Together, calcium and vitamin D build bones and keep them strong. Vitamin D also plays a part in heart health and fighting infection.
Kids need vitamin D to build strong bones. Vitamin D also helps bones heal after an injury or surgery.
Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the sun. It’s hard to get enough vitamin D from the sun, though. Most kids and adults spend lots of time indoors at school and work. When outdoors, it’s important to protect skin to prevent melanoma and skin damage from too much sun exposure.
Very few foods have vitamin D naturally. The foods with the most are fatty fish and fish oils. Kids don’t eat these foods a lot. That’s why food companies add vitamin D to milk, yogurt, baby formula, juice, cereal, and other foods.
Adding vitamin D to foods is called “fortifying.” It’s helpful, but it still may not be enough.
To get enough vitamin D, children often need to take a multivitamin with vitamin D or a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is sometimes labeled as vitamin D3.
You can buy vitamin D pills, gummies, chewables, liquids, and sprays in stores without a prescription. Ask your child’s health care provider for advice on choosing the right one.
Vitamin D is measured in international units (IU).
Some kids might need more vitamin D, such as those who:
Your health care provider can talk to you about whether your child needs a vitamin D supplement.
Because vitamin D is so important, you’ll want to be sure your child gets enough. Giving your child a daily supplement or a multivitamin with vitamin D is the easiest way to do this.
Health care providers might order a blood test if they think a health problem is keeping a child from getting enough vitamin D. If doctors don’t think your child has a health problem, there’s no need for a blood test.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, a building block for strong bones. Unlike with vitamin D, kids usually can get enough calcium from food. High-calcium foods include milk, cheese, and yogurt. Food makers often fortify foods like cereal, bread, or juice with calcium.
We build almost all our bone density when we’re kids and teens. Kids with strong bones have a better chance of avoiding bone weakness later in life. Here’s how parents can help.
Milk and other calcium-rich foods help build strong, healthy bones. But most kids and teens don’t get enough calcium. Here’s how to make sure that yours do.
Without bones, muscles, and joints, we couldn’t stand, walk, run, or even sit. The musculoskeletal system supports our bodies, protects our organs from injury, and enables movement.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Learn which nutrients you need while pregnant or breastfeeding, and easy ways to add them to your diet.
To eat well during pregnancy, your extra calories should come from nutritious foods that contribute to your baby’s growth and development.
By teaching kids how to enjoy fun in the sun safely, parents can reduce their risk for developing skin cancer.
Find out how to make healthy food choices for your family by reading food labels.
While growth slows somewhat during the toddler years, it’s a new era where kids will eat and drink more independently.
Vitamins and minerals are nutrients that the body needs to work properly. They boost the immune system, promote normal growth and development, and help cells and organs do their jobs.
Just like vitamins, minerals help your body grow, develop, and stay healthy. Find out more about minerals in this article for kids.
Your parents were right to make you drink milk when you were little. It’s loaded with calcium, a mineral vital for building strong bones and teeth.
Our bones, muscles, and joints form our musculoskeletal system and enable us to do everyday physical activities.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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