At the dawn of British summertime 2013, growingupmilkinfo.com launches the UK's first Vitamin D Day, today, to raise awareness about the importance of the vitamin for toddler development.
The first day of British summertime marks the start of when the sun is at the right angle for our bodies to make vitamin D. This period from April to September is vital as it is the only time Brits can receive vitamin D from the sun.
With the unpredictable weather, toddlers in the UK are considered vulnerable to low-levels of vitamin D. And it's harder to get vitamin D from the sun north of Birmingham with toddlers in....
Experts agree that the limited sunshine in the UK does not always give toddlers the opportunity to get all the vitamin D they need, which is why they recommend that toddlers have vitamin D rich diets and take supplements to help support their growth and development.
With a recent survey highlighting that 91 per cent UK mums don't know the recommended dietary intake of vitamin D for toddlers, Vitamin D Day has been created to address misconceptions, and educate the nation's parents, about the role of diet in providing the essential vitamin.
Health expert and ITV's This Morning regular, Dr Chris Steele, who is backing Vitamin D Day, stressed the importance of dietary intake of vitamin D for toddlers. He said: "Many parents are confused about how much vitamin D is needed for the normal growth of toddler bones and teeth.
"The lack of vitamin D in toddler diets is a growing health concern and we need to ensure that our toddlers are getting the best from their diets.
“Presently, the average British toddler is only getting 27% of their daily vitamin D RNI which is a major concern as the sun cannot be relied upon alone to fulfil a toddler's vitamin D needs."
Leading weather intelligence company Metra Weather expects that the first months of this summertime will not be much better than the washout summer of 2012, with warm summer temperatures not expected until May and another dull and wet July.
Growingupmilkinfo.com nutritionist, Dr Leanne Olivier, said: "With the unpredictable weather, toddlers in the UK are considered vulnerable to low-levels of vitamin D.
"And it's harder to get vitamin D from the sun north of Birmingham with toddlers in the cities of Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds and Sheffield indexing higher for low levels of the vitamin.
“This also applies to toddlers who have darker skin or cover up for cultural reasons, with this in mind it is imperative that a toddlers' vitamin D intake is supplemented through diet."
Vitamin D Day aims to educate Brits on the food sources, like oily fish, liver and eggs, as well as food and milks fortified with vitamin D, such as fortified breakfast cereals and Growing Up Milk, to help supplement vitamin D levels in our little ones' diets.