Is my child getting enough vitamin D?

March 4, 2024

Warning: Attempt to read property "ID" on bool in /home/smartfood/public_html/wp-content/themes/fox/inc/functions56.php on line 610

Warning: Attempt to read property "user_nicename" on bool in /home/smartfood/public_html/wp-content/themes/fox/inc/functions56.php on line 613

Warning: Attempt to read property "display_name" on bool in /home/smartfood/public_html/wp-content/themes/fox/inc/functions56.php on line 619

<img src=",413" srcset=";resize=360,239 360w,;resize=180,119 180w, " sizes="(max-width: 620px) 100vw, 620px" width="620" height="413" class="wp-image-873161 alignnone size-landscape_thumbnail" alt="A woman sat in sunshine" title="Is my child getting enough vitamin D?" /> <h2>What is vitamin D?</h2>
<p><a href="/howto/guide/am-i-getting-enough-vitamin-d#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Vitamin D</a> plays an essential role in your child’s body. It is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because it is made in our skin via direct exposure to sunlight; in the UK, the sun is only strong enough to do this between March and October. Vitamin D is extremely important for strong bones and teeth, as it helps us absorb the calcium we eat and also controls the amount of calcium in our blood.</p>
<p><strong>Check out our </strong><a href="/vitamins-and-minerals" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong>Vitamins and Minerals Information Hub</strong></a><strong> to learn more about key nutrients – from whether you’re getting </strong><a href="/howto/guide/am-i-getting-enough-vitamin-d" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong>enough vitamin D</strong></a><strong> to the </strong><a href="/howto/guide/best-sources-vitamin-c" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong>top 10 healthiest sources of vitamin C</strong></a><strong>, plus </strong><a href="/howto/guide/vital-minerals" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong>vital minerals</strong></a><strong> you need in your diet.</strong></p>
<h2>How is vitamin D produced?</h2>
<p>It is difficult to know how much time is needed in the sun to make enough vitamin D as there are a number of different factors involved, including your child’s skin tone, the use of sun cream and the levels of vitamin D your child was born with. Children with dark skin (such as South Asian, African or African-Caribbean) will need to spend more time in the sun to produce similar amounts of vitamin D to someone with lighter skin.</p>
<p>Don’t forget you need to take extra care to protect the skin of babies and children because it is more sensitive to the damaging effects of the sun. Repeated exposure to sunlight may damage or burn the skin and potentially lead to skin cancer in later life. Babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of strong direct sunlight.</p>
<h2>When should you protect your child’s skin?</h2>
<p>From March to October in the UK children should be protected by:</p>
<li>Covering up with suitable clothing</li>
<li>Wearing a hat</li>
<li>Spending time in the shade, especially between 11am and 3pm</li>
<li>Wearing a sunscreen of at least SPF30 – be sure to apply sunscreen to the parts of the body that are not protected by clothing including the face, ears, feet and back of hands.</li>
<h2><strong>Why does my child need vitamin D?</strong></h2>
<p>Without vitamin D, your child’s body can’t absorb calcium into their bones and cells. This can lead to a condition called <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">rickets</a><u>,</u> which may cause permanent bone deformities, weakened muscles and reduced growth.</p>
<div class="image-handler__container image-handler__container–full" style="padding-bottom: calc(100% * (350 / 700));">
<source media="(max-width: 320px)" data-srcset=";quality=90&amp;resize=300%2C150,;quality=45&amp;resize=600%2C300 2x" type="image/webp">
<source media="(max-width: 320px)" data-srcset=";resize=300%2C150,;resize=600%2C300 2x" type="image/jpeg">
<source media="(max-width: 375px)" data-srcset=";quality=90&amp;resize=355%2C178" type="image/webp">
<source media="(max-width: 375px)" data-srcset=";resize=355%2C178" type="image/jpeg">
<source media="(max-width: 425px)" data-srcset=";quality=90&amp;resize=405%2C203" type="image/webp">
<source media="(max-width: 425px)" data-srcset=";resize=405%2C203" type="image/jpeg">
<source media="(max-width: 589px)" data-srcset=";quality=90&amp;resize=554%2C277" type="image/webp">
<source media="(max-width: 589px)" data-srcset=";resize=554%2C277" type="image/jpeg">
<source media="(min-width: 992px)" data-srcset=";quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C310" type="image/webp">
<source media="(min-width: 992px)" data-srcset=";resize=620%2C310" type="image/jpeg">
<source media="(min-width: 768px)" data-srcset=";quality=90&amp;resize=408%2C204" type="image/webp">
<source media="(min-width: 768px)" data-srcset=";resize=408%2C204" type="image/jpeg">
<source media="(min-width: 590px)" data-srcset=";quality=90&amp;resize=556%2C278" type="image/webp">
<source media="(min-width: 590px)" data-srcset=";resize=556%2C278" type="image/jpeg">
<img class="wp-image-873162 align size-full image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src=";resize=620%2C310" width="700" height="350" alt="Vitamin D foods" title="Vitamin D foods">
<h2><strong>Which foods contain vitamin D?</strong></h2>
<p>Vitamin D is found in some foods including oily fish, red meat, egg yolks, mushrooms (if these have been exposed to sunlight) and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, some milks and spreads. It is, however, a challenge to achieve your daily vitamin D requirements from diet alone.</p>
<h2><strong>How much vitamin D does my child need?</strong></h2>
<p>Babies under one should be given a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">daily supplement</a> of 8.5 – 10 micrograms unless they have more than 500ml of fortified formula milk per day. This is because formula milk is already fortified with vitamin D and other nutrients. From the age of one, children need a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D, especially during the autumn and winter months.</p>
<p>If you are concerned your child is not getting enough vitamin D, you should speak to your GP, health visitor or ask to see a specialist dietitian.</p>
<h2>Liked this? Now read…</h2>
<p><a href="/howto/guide/how-boost-your-childs-immune-system" target="_blank" rel="noopener">How to boost your child’s immune system</a><br>
<a href="/howto/guide/healthy-eating-what-young-children-need" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Healthy eating: what young children need</a><br>
<a href="/howto/guide/nutrition-middle-years-5-13-years" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Healthy eating: what older children need</a><br>
<a href="/howto/guide/children-and-sugar-how-bad-it" target="_blank" rel="noopener">How much sugar should children have?</a><br>
<a href="/howto/guide/am-i-getting-enough-vitamin-d#">Am I getting enough vitamin D?</a></p>
<p class="p1">Check out our <a href="/vitamins-and-minerals"><span class="s1">Vitamins and Minerals Information Hub</span></a> to learn more about key nutrients – from whether you’re getting <a href="/howto/guide/am-i-getting-enough-vitamin-d"><span class="s1">enough vitamin D</span></a> to the <a href="/howto/guide/best-sources-vitamin-c"><span class="s1">top 10 healthiest sources of vitamin C</span></a>, plus <a href="/howto/guide/vital-minerals"><span class="s1">vital minerals</span></a> you need in your diet.</p>
<p class="p1"><em>This page was reviewed on 22 January 2024 by Kerry Torrens.</em></p>
<p><a href="">Emer Delaney BSc (Hons), RD</a> <em>has an honours degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Ulster. She has worked as a dietitian in some of London’s top teaching hospitals and is currently based in Chelsea.</em></p>
<p><em>All health content on is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website </em><em><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">terms and conditions</a></em><em> for more information.</em></p>

Warning: Attempt to read property "ID" on bool in /home/smartfood/public_html/wp-content/themes/fox/inc/functions56.php on line 1836

Warning: Attempt to read property "user_nicename" on bool in /home/smartfood/public_html/wp-content/themes/fox/inc/functions56.php on line 1836

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Comments

No comments to show.

I’m Sarah

Adhuc euripidis no qui. Eam et liber concludaturque, feugiat assentior posidonium pri ut. Case justo ut est, ex dolores aliquando vix.




About Me


Ei mei scripta intellegat. Verear voluptaria eam at, consul putent eu vel. Pro saepe maluisset ne, audire maiorum forensibus eos et. Diceret detraxit vis at. Eum et idque tollit assentior, ullum soleat usu id.


Any Text Here

Ei mei scripta intellegat. Verear voluptaria eam at, consul putent eu vel. Pro saepe maluisset ne, audire maiorum forensibus eos et. Diceret detraxit vis at. Eum et idque tollit assentior, ullum soleat usu id.

Previous Story

Top 10 health benefits of shellfish

Next Story

Marathon week meal plan – Thursday

Don't Miss