Getting What We Need…Calcium and Vitamin D!

Calcium and Vitamin D are two main nutrients we all need in our diet for healthy growth and development, especially in children. Calcium helps us build and maintain strong bones and teeth, very important for the growing children attending our clubs! What many people don’t realize is that one of the main roles of vitamin D is to help absorb the calcium in our bodies from the foods we eat. In turn, eating calcium rich foods can be of no benefit if your body does not have the vitamin D it requires to help you absorb it. Vitamin D also plays a very important role in our immune system. Since vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” and we live in a climate that we get limited sun exposure throughout the year, we may have to consume a little bit extra of those foods that are a good source of vitamin D.

Here are some Calcium and Vitamin D rich foods that you should try to offer in your clubs, and at home, to ensure that everyone is getting enough:

Calcium:

– milk, powder milk, cheese, yogurt

– fortified orange juice (labels will say this)

– spinach, turnip greens

– salmon, beans, almonds

Vitamin D:

– milk, yogurt, eggs (specifically the yolk)

– margarine

– fortified orange juice

– pork, salmon, trout, tuna

GotMilk

An Example of a nutritious calcium and vitamin D rich breakfast:

–          Slice of whole wheat toast with margarine

–          A piece of hard cheese

–          Scrambled eggs

–          A glass of milk

–          A side of fruit (berries, banana, apple, etc.)

Information retrieved from: (www.pennutrition.com)

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador

 

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