General Nutrition Card 7
MN WIC Program
- Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
- Snack: It's Not a Bad Word
- Moms and Kids Need Iron
- Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs
- Be Food Safe
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is needed to build strong bones and to be healthy - Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin” because it is made from sun shining on bare skin. Our bodies were made to get our vitamin D from the sun.
Can I get enough vitamin D from the sun?
In Minnesota the sun is not strong enough to make vitamin D for half the year! Also, we don’t get as much sunlight as we once did because:
- Sun exposure puts you at risk for developing skin cancer
- The use of sunscreen does not allow the skin to make vitamin D.
- People of some cultures wear clothing that covers most skin.
Can I get enough vitamin D from food?
Few foods are rich in vitamin D. Most Americans are not able to eat enough of vitamin D rich foods for their daily needs.
Recommendations for vitamin D
- Breastfed Infants - Breastmilk has some vitamin D, but your baby needs more. Give 400 IU per day of vitamin D to breastfed babies. Start right away after birth.
- Formula-fed Infants - Some vitamin D is added in manufacturing of formula. However, babies fed formula need to take at least 32 ounces of formula per day, to meet the vitamin D requirements. Newborns don’t need that much formula. Ask your doctor if your baby needs a vitamin D supplement.
- Children - Kids need 600 IU of vitamin D each day. Milk is a good source of vitamin D. But a child would need to drink lots of milk, more than is healthy, to meet the vitamin D requirements. A daily children’s multivitamin with at least 400 IU is recommended to help provide adequate vitamin D.
- Adults - Consider a multivitamin to help you meet your vitamin D requirement of 600 IU each day. If you are pregnant, make sure your prenatal vitamin contains vitamin D.
What do I need to know about vitamin D supplements?
- Ask your health care provider if your baby needs vitamin D drops.
- Multivitamin drops with vitamin D are available without a prescription at most drug stores or pharmacies. Measure the dose carefully using the medicine dropper provided.
- Your doctor might say that vitamin D is the only supplement your baby needs. Drops with only vitamin D are also available without a prescription. Some common brands include Just D and Enfamil D-Vi-Sol. Ask your pharmacist for help in locating an infant vitamin D supplement.
- With a doctor’s prescription, Medical Assistance will cover the cost of vitamin supplements for children up to age 18.
Children and Adults:
- Look for a multivitamin with at least 400 IU vitamin D.
- Inexpensive store brand vitamins work just as well as the brand name vitamins!