our everyday life

Vitamin D at Breakfast

by Nannette Richford

Nearly everyone knows that a healthy breakfast provides kids with the energy needed to concentrate and learn in school and gives busy parents the energy to meet the challenges of the day. What you may not know is that breakfast provides the opportunity to add a healthy portion of vitamin D to your diet.

Sunshine

Sunlight provides the major source of natural vitamin D for the body. When children spend their days inside a classroom, and parents spend the workday inside, getting enough vitamin D to build healthy bones and muscles may be a challenge, especially during the cold, dark days of winter. Supplementing vitamin D with fortified breakfast foods gets everyone off to a good start.

Fortified Cereals

Cereals made from whole grains are always a good choice, as they provide fiber that promotes good health. Many are fortified with vitamin D, which makes them an even better choice. Read labels carefully to determine the amount of vitamin D in cereals. According to the National Institutes of Health, children and adults require 400 to 600 IU per day of vitamin D. Fortified cereals often provide 10 percent or more of the vitamin D needed for the day.

Milk and Yogurt

Milk and dairy products are fortified with vitamin D and provide the perfect opportunity to add vitamin D to a picky eater's diet. Smoothies made with fresh fruits and yogurt or milk often appeal to kids who might balk at traditional breakfast and can be enjoyed on the go.

Whole Grain Breads

Try nontraditional food for breakfast if your little ones tire of the traditional cereal and milk. Making breakfast pizzas with whole-grain English muffins and topping them with fortified cheese provides kids with a healthy dose of vitamin D to start the day. Transform the whole-grain English muffins and cheese into a breakfast sandwich with some flavorful creamy dressing. Add a glass of vitamin D fortified juice and you can relax knowing your child has the vitamins he needs, while he eats foods he enjoys.

Eggs

Get creative with eggs to add vitamin D to the meal. Scrambled, boiled or cooked up in an omelet, one egg adds 10 percent of the vitamin D needed for the day. But beware: the vitamin D in eggs is found in the yolk. Egg white omelets do not provide vitamin D. Try French toast made with whole grain breads or eggs on whole wheat toast. For the picky eater, try cutting bread in attractive shapes, or cut into sticks once the French toast is done. Fill whole wheat wheat wraps with scrambled eggs topped with cheese for a quick on-the-go breakfast. Add some flavor to the vitamin D-rich wrap by mixing some ranch seasoning mix into the eggs.

About the Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.

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