In the midst of winter – particularly a British winter – sunshine is but a distant dream, a mirage of summers gone by existing only in our minds and sensory memory to torment and make us more miserable between the months of November and Forever.
But it’s not just our psyche that suffers during the long shut-in; the lack of rays affects us on a basic physiological level, too: not enough sun means no vitamin D production in our skin — an essential element in protecting bones and developing a healthy immune system (especially important for little ones).
To counteract the UK’s stingy sun exposure, the Department of Health recommends that all children aged six months to five years should take a supplement of vitamin D every day, all year round, to ensure they are meeting the RDA. It is also advised that all pregnant women take a daily supplement of 10 micrograms.
MotherandBaby suggests choosing a liquid vitamin D supplement so you can easily administer the required dose for both the kiddies and yourself from one bottle.
While most foods don’t contain any vitamin D, there are some readily accessible sources that will help keep the levels topped up:
Oily fish has the largest natural source of vitamin D, so try to work it into a meal once or twice a week.
Eggs contain only small amounts of vitamin D, but are so versatile and simple to sneak into plenty of dishes.
Meats such as beef, pork, lamb, turkey and chicken contain very small amounts of vitamin D, so if you eat meat, include it in your family’s diet four or five times a week.
In the UK, foods fortified with vitamin D include some breakfast cereals, yoghurts, breads, margarines and evaporated milk. Check labels and choose the fortified options as often as possible.