Why your children need a little sunshine

I was looking at a survey conducted by Mumsnet this week showing that many pregnant and breastfeeding Mums are confused over vitamin D. Current recommendation from the NHS are that vulnerable groups should take a daily vitamin D supplement. Those most of rick of vitamin D deficiency include the over 65s, pregnant and breastfeeding women, children under the age of 5, and those that have very limited exposure to the sun. For most of us a healthy balanced diet that includes vitamin containing foods such as oily fish, eggs and fortified cereals should provide all the vitamin D we need as long as we also have some sun exposure. And of course I’m not advocating sunburn here. Just 15 minutes in the sun each day should be enough to activate the vitamin D in your diet. If you are in one of the at risk group you should be taking 10mcg (or 400IU) a day of vitamin D. Children under 5 need 7-8.5mcg (280-340IU). If you are not sure about dosing, check the label, talk your pharmacist or speak to your GP about vitamin D drops available on prescription.