The first years of life are the most important in a child’s development. Your little one’s body and brain are growing at an exceptional rate. Correct nutrient intake is critical to ensure health now and in the future.
One of the most important vitamins in the growth process of babies and children is vitamin D.
Ensuring adequate intake can be a challenge, especially when considering how much processed food is on the market and what picky eaters kids can be.
Fortunately, there are many great products that can support a baby or child’s unique dietary needs. With that in mind, I have put together an analysis of the best vitamin D drops for babies and infants.
Vitamin D and Health
Babies undergo a variety of changes as they grow. First, their bones lengthen and mineralize to form a solid foundation upon which they can move. Next, young children build immunity as they engage with the world. Finally, children develop personality, mood and memories that guide them throughout the maturation process.
All of these changes are all natural parts of growth, but require special consideration when nourishing a baby or child’s physical and psychological health.
One of the most important considerations is nutrient intake, specifically that of vitamin D.
Vitamin D and Bones
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and has several critical functions in the body. First and foremost, vitamin D is necessary for bone growth and development. (source)
Vitamin D acts by supporting calcium absorption, which ensures proper bone mineralization during periods of increased growth. Of course, mineralized bones are strong and support mobility and dexterity, two variables that greatly enhance your kids’ health.
Vitamin D and Immunity
Vitamin D also supports proper immune system development. (source) There are two layers to the immune system: innate and adaptive.
Innate immunity is a nonspecific response including physical barriers and immune cells that jump into action immediately upon invasion. Adaptive immunity is a specific response that involves highly specialized cells and systems that target and eliminate invaders before they can cause significant damage.
Vitamin D supports the development of both innate and adaptive immunity.
Vitamin D and Glycemic Control
Finally, vitamin D may improve glycemic control, mood, and memory. (source) Glycemic control is important for maintaining balanced blood sugar, a mechanism that provides consistent and even energy to a baby or child’s developing body and brain. Mood and memory are good for, well, mood and memory. Happy children are healthy children.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is becoming increasingly common in children. This can have dire consequences, including the development of rickets and symptomatic hypocalcemia.
Vitamin D deficiency can develop for several reasons, including:
- Inadequate sun exposure
- Poor or limited diet
- Nutrient malabsorption
- Chronic use of medications
- Bottle feeding
- Breast feeding in vitamin D deficient mothers
- Dark skin pigmentation
The Right Vitamin D Drops
When shopping for a vitamin D supplement for babies and children, there are a few considerations that need to be made. The first consideration is the form, the type of vitamin D in the product. Two varieties of vitamin D can be found in supplements – D2 and D3.
Vitamin D2 is produced by some plant life in response to UV radiation. For example, mushrooms are rich in vitamin D2 as are plant-based fortified foods like dairy-free milks and milk products.
Vitamin D3 is found in humans and animals. When a body is exposed to sunlight, a vitamin D3 precursor made from cholesterol found in the skin is converted to active vitamin D. Cod liver oil is rich in vitamin D3 and has been used for centuries in cultures whose diets are naturally deficient.
Vitamin D3 has been found to be more bioavailable and, by extension, better for the human body. (source)
The next consideration when looking at vitamin D supplements is dosage. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), all infants and children need to receive at least 400 IU of vitamin D daily.
As there is a risk of toxicity associated with vitamin D, dosing is an important consideration when supplementing a baby or child’s diet. The Institute of Medicine suggests 400-1,000 IU for children ages 1 day to 1 year and 600-1,000 IU for children ages 1 to 18 years. (source) As mentioned, the AAP suggests 400 IU of supplemental vitamin D for all babies up to age 1.
Source, Ingredients & Method of Delivery
In addition to form and dosage, it may be important to consider the source, added ingredients, and method of delivery for a vitamin D supplement.
Regarding source, if one is observing a vegetarian or vegan diet, then it may be important to find a vitamin D supplement that is synthesized from plant products.
If one is allergic or trying to avoid certain food substances like gluten, wheat, dairy, or coconut you’ll need to verify that a product doesn’t use any of these substances in their formulations.
Finally, the method of delivery – pill, capsule, or liquid – can have a great effect on how well the body absorbs a specific supplement. Typically, liquids are easier to assimilate than capsules and capsules are easier to assimilate than pills.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that vitamin D supplements are best taken with the largest meal of the day.
Top 5 Vitamin D Supplements for Children and Babies
Out of the products reviewed, I’ve concluded that Zoomavit Vitamin D3 Drops for Infants, Toddlers, Mothers, and Babies is the best vitamin D supplement for babies and children. This product meets the unique needs of babies and children by supporting bone growth and development, immune function, and mood and memory.
Zoomavit Vitamin D3 is chemical-, additive-, and allergen-free; tasteless and odorless; vegan and vegetarian friendly; and reasonably priced supplement for babies and infants.
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