As parents, we want what is best for our children. We recognise our responsibility in caring for our children and providing the best start we can for them. A part of that role includes teaching our children everything from a basic moral code to how the world works, to prepare them for adulthood. Educating our children includes teaching them habits about nutrition and diet.
Whether or not all parents agree that they are teaching their children about nutrition, the fact is we are. The diet we raise our children on will have a huge impact on their choices and health in later life. Sadly, not all children are given the facts they need about good nutrition. And many don’t get the nutrients they need to be healthy, both as children and into adulthood.
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution
World famous chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver has been at the forefront of those campaigning for better education around child nutrition. A part of that is covered in this excellent Ted Talk, which Jamie gave in California, about how we need to teach our children about food.
Jamie recognises that we are failing our children if we don’t fully understand their nutritional needs, when they may need supplements and how to prepare a balance diet for our children. Jamie Oliver suggests three steps to starting a food revolution in every home:
- Know what we’re eating – do we really know what we’re putting on our children’s plates? (And our own for that matter!) Understanding the basics of food nutrition is key to getting a nutritious and balanced diet
- Don’t obsess over fancy food labels – healthy eating doesn’t need to cost a lot. Fresh foods that are healthy and offer the nutrition we need can be simple and cheap
- Cook together as a family – one way to know what you’re eating is buy simple and teach your children to cook simple, nutritious meals. If you can’t cook, you can learn together!
How Do You What Is The Right Nutritional Information?
Whilst Jamie’s advice is a great starting point, many parents can struggle to even get to the point of knowing what to put into the shopping basket. How do you navigate your way through all of the marketing speak and social media adverts to find what your child actually needs to be healthy? It can feel daunting when you search child nutrition on Google and get hundreds of thousands of results. How do you know which sources of information to trust?
The child nutrition debate is becoming as complex as the contentious child vaccination debate. On the one hand, parents talk about vaccines having a risk of causing autism, and on the other countries like Australia threaten to fine parents who are late vaccinating their children. Sometimes it can be hard to sift through all of the opinions and find the facts of the subject.
The Facts Of Child Nutrition
Luckily, there are some sources that you can rely on for the facts on child nutrition. Depending on the age of your children, you can find some simple resources as a starting point for understanding what you should be looking to include in their daily diet. For babies and toddlers under 2, there are some excellent resources on the NHS Start4Life site, with food ideas and how to introduce solid foods safely and with great nutritional value. For older children and adults, the NHS EatWell Plate is a simple visual reminder of the types of food groups our diet should include and in what quantities. The portion sizes are adapted depending on the age of the child.
NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) also produce independent guidance that is the result of extensive research on child nutrition and when supplements may be needed, as do the Department of Health.
To Supplement or Not To Supplement?
When it comes to child nutrition, there is an ongoing debate about whether it is safe to give children supplements. Whilst guidance like EatWell offers a balanced diet, there are still some nutrients that your child will struggle to get enough of, regardless of diet.
The Department of Health, that’s the department of the government responsible for looking after guidance around health and nutrition, recommend that all children aged six months to 5 years be given a supplement of Vitamin D and that from the age of 5 onwards, it is still advisable. This is because we get our Vitamin D from a chemical reaction that comes from our skin’s exposure to sunlight. A lot of the year we struggle to get enough sunlight to produce the amount of Vitamin D our body needs.
Choosing The Right Supplement For Your Child
Whilst the Department of Health recommends supplements, it is important to ensure you choose a Vitamin D supplement that is right for your child. This is partly about dosage but also about finding a practical solution for getting your child to take supplements. Younger children shouldn’t be given tablets or capsules that they could easily choke on. Often older children are also reluctant to take capsules and tablets, which can lead to a daily battle!
Vitamin D3 Supplement Sprays
A great alternative to capsules or tablets for children is a Vitamin D3 spray. This is a specially formulated spray that can be sprayed into the mouth or over food, if your child is reluctant to take the spray. If the latter is chosen, this should be just before food is consumed to ensure the vitamin potency doesn’t start to degrade. Vitamin D3 sprays are as effective as tablets and can be used to give lesser doses for smaller children.
Is an adult and child dose of Vitamin D3 the same?
- Current guidance for younger children and babies can be found here, on the NHS website:https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/vitamins-for-children/
- Guidance for children and adults dosage can be found here, on the NHS website:
We would always recommend that you check with your health care provider the right dosage for your child, and consult them before beginning to give your child supplements.
Vegetology Vitashine Vitamin D3 Spray
Here at Vegetology we have created a specially formulated plant-based Vitamin D3 spray, suitable for adults and children. Vegetology are passionate about harnessing the power of science through nature and develop supplements that are Vegan and Vegetarian friendly, whilst offering the same benefits as their alternatives. We also stock Vitashine Vitamin D3 in tablet form.
Vitashine for the whole family
As Vitashine Vitamin D3 Spray is suitable for supplementing child and adult nutrition we have created a bundle offer, so you can stock up on your Vitamin D3 supplements for the whole family.
Whether you all would like to use the spray for the whole family or a combination of the spray and tablets, you will find a bundle to suit your needs, at great value here: