How to Get Vitamin D in the Winter
Once the winter weather and dark afternoons start to become a regular occurrence, fear sets in. How am I supposed to get any vitamin D if it’s too cold to go outside AND there are limited sunlight hours each day?? Not to worry! I am here with the answers. Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is vitamin D? Why do you need it? And how much of it do you need?
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium. It also helps your muscles, nerves, immune system work properly. Vitamin D can even help you build and maintain healthy teeth and bones. Your body makes vitamin D when you are exposed to sunlight. It’s also found in some foods — but experts say that it’s difficult to get enough vitamin D from your diet alone.
How much do I need?
How much vitamin D you need depends on your age. Physicians believe that consuming 400-800 IU of vitamin D will meet the needs of 97-98% of the healthy population. If you’re looking to supplement vitamin D, talk to your doctor about dosing! You can also take a look at this vitamin D Fact sheet from Dietitians of Canada for guidelines based on your age.
Where can I get it?
As I mentioned earlier, our bodies make vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight. In the summer months, most people can make enough vitamin D on their own. That’s not often the case in winter months unless you happen to live in say, Hawaii or Australia. Most of us live in seasonal climates where the winter months are dark, cold and often gloomy.
Lucky for us, there are also foods which are sources of vitamin D. While they may not entirely make up for a lack of sunlight, they can definitely provide you with some much-needed vitamins! Here are foods with the highest levels of vitamin D.
- Fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, herring and salmon
- Egg yolks
- Dairy products like milk and yogurt
- Soy Milk
It's important that children get their recommended amount of vitamin D in order to build a healthy immune system, improve hormone function and develop healthy bones and teeth to keep them running and smiling all day long!
This is why our Kidco Kitchen serves 2-3 servings of milk per day and incorporates fatty fish into our delicious menus! The Kids & Company children aim to get outside each day unless of course, the weather is not on our side.
Follow us on Instagram @cheflisaruscica and @kidcochildcare and on Twitter @kidcochildcare!
Chef Lisa Ruscica
Chief Food Ambassador