Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus for bone mineralization, which is an important task throughout childhood.
While kids can get vitamin D from being outside in the sunshine (vitamin D activated in the skin), it’s also important to eat foods that are rich in vitamin D.
Babies under one year of age need 400 IU vitamin D per day and if breastfeeding, should be receiving a vitamin D supplement. Toddlers and children who are older need 600 IU per day. Good food sources are: salmon, rockfish, tuna canned in oil, sardines canned in oil, vitamin D-fortified orange juice, milk, chocolate milk, soy milk, flounder, sole, ready-to-eat cereals (vitamin D fortified), rice drink, pork, cod, egg, shiitake mushrooms, and Canadian bacon.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, September 2020