Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for babies and children. It helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for building strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D also plays a role in the immune system, heart health, and other functions.
Benefits of Vitamin D for Infants
- Bone health: Vitamin D is essential for healthy bone growth and development. It helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are the building blocks of bones. Babies who don’t get enough vitamin D are at risk of developing rickets, a condition that causes soft, weak bones.
- Immune system: Vitamin D helps the body fight infection. It does this by stimulating the production of white blood cells, which are the body’s natural defense against germs.
- Heart health: Vitamin D may help protect against heart disease. Studies have shown that people with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to develop heart disease.
- Other benefits: Vitamin D may also have benefits for other health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
How Much Vitamin D Do Infants Need?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the recommended daily intake of vitamin D for infants is 400 IU. This can be obtained through supplements or through fortified foods. Some foods that are fortified with vitamin D include milk, orange juice, and cereal.
How to Give Vitamin D to Infants
Vitamin D supplements are available in liquid, chewable, and gummy forms. The best way to give vitamin D to infants is to give them a liquid supplement. This can be given directly from the dropper or mixed into breast milk or formula.
Sun exposure is a natural way to get vitamin D. However, it is not recommended for infants. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage the skin, and infants are especially vulnerable to this damage.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for infants. It helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for building strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D also plays a role in the immune system, heart health, and other functions.
Q: What are the signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in infants?
A: The signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in infants can include:
- Rickets, a condition that causes soft, weak bones
- Difficulty walking
- Bowed legs
- Muscle weakness
- Frequent infections
Q: How can I tell if my infant is getting enough vitamin D?
A: You can talk to your doctor about having your infant’s vitamin D levels tested. If your infant’s levels are low, your doctor may recommend that they take a vitamin D supplement.
Q: What are some natural sources of vitamin D for infants?
A: Some natural sources of vitamin D for infants include:
- Fortified milk
- Fortified orange juice
- Fortified cereal
- Fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel)
- Egg yolks
Q: How long do infants need to take vitamin D supplements?
A: Infants should continue to take vitamin D supplements until they are 1 year old. After that, they can get most of the vitamin D they need from their diet.
- Vitamin D | Nutrition | CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/infantandtoddlernutrition/vitamins-minerals/vitamin-d.html
- Vitamin D Deficiency in Infants & the Need for Routine Vitamin D Supplementation: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3103147/
- Evidence-based D-bate on health benefits of vitamin D revisited: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3427198/
- Vitamin D Prophylaxis in Infancy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8424795/