Here’s another reason to drink your milk.
Children deficient in Vitamin D (as measured by blood levels) were more apt to be sicker and stay in the hospital longer than comparable children with normal blood levels. It seems that Vitamin D, long thought to have immune benefits, may well indeed have some role to play in fighting illness.
Two new studies have revealed that children admitted to pediatric intensive care units have longer stays if their Vitamin D levels are low. Children in ICUs are already pretty darn sick and if they are staying longer, it means they are taking longer to recover. Vitamin D may not prevent illness, but it may play some role in fighting illness once begun.
Infants need 400IU/day of Vitamin D3 and children over 1 year need at least 600 IU/day. Interestingly, most dairy products such as cheese, ice cream and yogurt don’t contain Vitamin D (there are a few exceptions). Drinking milk is your best bet.
If your child doesn’t like milk or doesn’t tolerate it, taking a supplement is a must. I tell parents you can’t go wrong taking up to 1000 IU/day of Vitamin D3, and it seems that it may even help keep your child out of the pediatric intensive care unit!