Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is one of those essential vitamins we generally don't think or stress about.  However, about 70% of children in the US have low levels of this vitamin which can put them at a higher risk of bone and heart disease.  The reason?  Most kids are deficient because of their poor diets and lack of sunshine.

Kids are not spending as much time outdoors as they have in the past.  A sedentary lifestyle is more common in households today especially with the advancement of technology.  Many kids are spending hours watching TV or playing video games rather than going outside to play/

So what can parents do to improve this essential vitamin by their kids? The solution is simple.  Turn off the TV and get the kids outside to play.  Just 15-20 minutes of sunlight a day is enough.  Experts also say, that unless your kids burn easily, don't put sunscreen on them until after they have been outside for at least ten minutes (sunscreen blocks UV-B rays which are used by the body to convert a form of cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D). 

You can also enhance your child's diet with vitamin D rich foods such as milk and fish to help prevent deficiency. 

What types of activities do you do with your kids outside to keep them healthy?  We'd love to hear your ideas!


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