New research shows that Brits have a startling knowledge deficiency when it comes to understanding vitamin D, as 43[ii] per cent mistakenly believe they can get a vitamin D top up from the sun, regardless of what month it is.

Arla Big Milk

Arla Big Milk

More than two fifths of those surveyed by Arla Big Milk were unaware that UV levels are not high enough in the UK during the months of October through to March[iii] to make vitamin D, as over a third (37 per cent) admitted to thinking they can get a top up by simply stepping into daylight and over 1 in 10 thought sunshine was the only source of vitamin D. Alarmingly, 30 per cent said they rely on sunshine only to get that all-important nutrient.

The research findings come at a time when the nation has been cooped up inside amid lockdowns and restrictions and are more than likely in need of vitamin D. Compared to previous lockdowns, this one seems to have been the toughest for the nation, as over half (58 per cent) of people agreed that they had swapped the great outdoors for their sofa, with 78 per cent agreeing they have spent much less time outdoors.

Danny Micklethwaite, spokesperson for Arla Big Milk said: “It’s alarming that many of us are still relying on sunshine alone to get our vitamin D fix, not realising UV levels are so low at this time of year. Getting enough vitamin D from the sun can be tough or near impossible in the winter months and with our research showing we’ve all spent a lot more time inside this lockdown, we’re reminding parents that with Arla Big Milk, the only milk enriched with vitamin D, you can get some sunshine in vitamin D[1] form from a quick visit to the fridge, perfect for growing kids!"

Winter months have proved hardest with 36 per cent admitting their happiness is impacted and nearly a third (30 per cent) said it had been made worse by the latest lockdown. As our return to normality unfolds, there is much else to do than head outside for a long walk, but motivation levels are low, as 35 per cent said they hadn’t hit 10k steps in over 3 weeks and shockingly, a quarter (25 per cent) admitted they had never completed a daily 10k steps in their life. 24 per cent put their lack of outside activity down to having no motivation to leave the house, and nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) cited the weather as being a deterrent to embracing the great outdoors.

Despite this, two in five (43 per cent) revealed they had managed to muster the get up and go and forced themselves outside in the hope of getting some vitamin D, with 76 per cent associating the sun with having a positive impact on their mind, and 69 per cent stating a lack of sunshine affects their overall wellbeing. 

Arla Big Milk’s research has revealed that while we may not be aware of the most effective ways to get our vitamin D fix, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the consideration we have when it comes to looking after ourselves. 43 per cent stated they’re more aware, post pandemic, of what vitamins and nutrients our bodies need for a balanced diet, with the same number of respondents putting this down to wanting to boost their immune system.

Arla Big Milk is enriched with essential nutrients like vitamin D which contribute to the normal function of the immune system. For more information head to

Sneaky Veg Shepherd’s Pie

4 Parsnip (peeled and chopped)

1 Butternut Squash (peeled and chopped into small cubes)

5 tbsp Olive Oil (4 for veg and 1 for filling)

1 Large white Onion (Chopped)

1 Celery (stick finely chopped)

500g Lamb Mince

2 tbsp Tomato Paste

Large splash Worcester Sauce

2 Carrots (peeled and grated)

1 Courgette (grated)

1 lamb stock cube

20 ml Water (boiling)

1 tsp Dried Mixed Herbs

400g Chopped Tomatoes

240g Chickpeas (drained)

100 ml Arla Big Milk

50g Butter

100g Mature Cheddar


Step 1

  • Pre-heat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Lay the parsnips and butternut squash on a baking tray, drizzle with 4 tbsp of oil and season. Pop in the oven for 40 mins.

Step 2

  • Meanwhile, you can make the filling. Add 1 tbsp of oil to a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and celery and fry for 3 mins.

Step 3

  • Break the lamb mince into the pan, add the paste and Worcester sauce and cook for 5 mins until browned (continuously stir). Add the carrots and courgette and fry for a further 3 mins.

Step 4

  • Crumble over the stock cube and add the water, chopped tomatoes, dried herbs and chickpeas, season and stir. Bring to the boil and then simmer until thickened for 25-30 mins.

Step 5

  • Once the parsnips and butternut squash are roasted, remove from the oven and place in a large bowl with the Big Milk and butter. If happy with textured mash simply mash together with a potato masher. Alternatively, use a hand blitzer for a smoother texture- add more Big Milk if not loose enough.

Step 6

  • Transfer the mince filling into a large, oven-proof dish, or into indivdual oven-proof pots. Top with the butternut squash and parsnip mash, sprinkle with cheese and season.

Step 7

  • Bake for 25 mins until the top is golden and filling bubbling and serve the shepherds best-kept secret- shhh they will never know!

Hidden 5 Veg Mac and Cheese 

300g Macaroni

2 tbsp Olive Oil

300ml Vegetable Stock

Courgettes (Grated)

100g Cauliflower

100g Frozen Sweetcorn

150g Sweet Potato

120g Carrots (Sliced)

250ml Arla Big Milk

250g Reduced fat Cheddar (Grated)

140g Reduced fat Cream Cheese

Medium white Onions (Diced)

1tbsp Dijon Mustard

1 Slice Crusty Stale Bread


  • Add vegetable stock, courgettes, cauliflower, sweetcorn, sweet potato, and carrots into a deep pan and cover for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.
  • Add all of your veg and stock to a blender and blitz until there are no lumps and set to one side.
  • In the pan used to cook your veg, add in the oil and fry the onion for two minutes.
  • Add your blended veggies to the onion and add your mustard, milk, cheese and cream cheese. Keep on a medium heat and gently whisk until nice and smooth. This will make more than enough so remove half from the pan befor adding your macaroni.
  • Add your al dente macaroni and reduce heat and cook. If the pasta begins to look dry add more of the sauce set aside a bit at a time. Continue to heat gently for 15 minutes until gooey.
  • Scoop into a large ovenproof dish, removing any excess sauce and sprinkle with Cheddar and cook for 10-15 minutes until the cheese has melted.
  • Remove from oven, portion into bowls and enjoy!

Peach Pancakes

4tbsp Caster Sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

160g Whole grain flour

1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

2tsp Baking Powder

2 Large Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

150ml Arla Big Milk

200g Tinned Peaches (slices)


100g Natural Yogurt

Maple Syrup (optional)




To top

  • 100g natural yoghurt or Maple syrup to drizzle (optional). A mix of fruit to create faces - peaches, blueberries and strawberries


  • Add the caster sugar to a bowl and sift in the wholegrain flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and mix.

Step 2

  • Create a well in the centre, crack in the eggs and beat. Add the vanilla extract and begin whisking with a fork, slowly pouring in the Arla Big Milk and incorporating the dry and wet mixtures until a batter forms.

Step 3

  • Gently mix in the peaches and set aside. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and add a knob of butter. Allow to melt and add a ladle of batter to the centre of the pan.

Step 4

  • Once the top of the pancake begins to bubble give it a flip. Cook for a minute or two on the second side, pop to one side and repeat.

Step 5

  • Stack your pancakes, dollop with the yoghurt, create funny faces with the fruit and drizzle with maple. Time to eat your edible masterpiece!


[1] Censuswide surveyed 2,032 nationally representative UK respondents between 08.03.2021 - 10.03.2021. The survey was conducted from a random sample of full-time working mothers based in the UK. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles


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