Important notice to customers — product packaging changesLearn More

NEW FOOD PACKAGING IN STORE NOW

From August 2018, customers will notice our rebranded food packaging start to appear on shelf in all major stockists.

  • CURRENT Packaging
  • new Packaging

We are excited to announce our new packaging will start to appear on shelf from August 2018. This transition to new packaging will occur over a number of months. During this time there will be a mix of current and new packaging on shelf.

There are no major changes to these products, in some instances there is a small name change or slight recipe improvement, see below for the full details.

Products purchased via the website will be delivered to customers in our old packaging until the end of October. From November, products ordered from the website will be delivered in the new packaging.

Please note, our Infant Formula packaging will not be rebranded until later in 2019.

For any questions, connect with our team of accredited practising Dietitians on +61 3 6332 9200

Product name changes

  • Cereal Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Baby Rice
  • NEW Packaging Organic Rice with Prebiotic (GOS) Note: Our Baby Rice recipe has been upgraded to now include GOS Prebiotic
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Vanilla Rice Custard
  • NEW Packaging Organic Milk & Vanilla Baby Rice
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Porridge
  • NEW Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Baby Porridge
  • Ready To Serve Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Banana, Pear & Mango
  • New Packaging Organic Banana, Pear, Apple & Mango
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Mango, Blueberry & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Blueberry, Mango & Apple
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Peach & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Grape, Apple & Peach
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Risotto
  • New Packaging Organic Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Tomato
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Broccoli, Beef & Brown Rice
  • New Packaging Organic Beef & Vegetables
  • Note: We have also upgraded some of our RTS recipes to remove added sugars and to remove some of the more complex ingredients that are not required for young children such as Tamari.
  • RUSKS NAME CHANGES
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Milk Rusks Toothiepegs
  • New Packaging Organic Milk Rusks
Home/Nutrition & Recipes/Articles/Infant & Toddler Nutrition/Nutrition/Is Your Child Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Is Your Child Getting Enough Vitamin D?

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Recent studies indicate a large percentage of children aren’t getting enough vitamin D. One study suggested as much as 61% of children have insufficient levels of this essential vitamin. So why isn’t there more discussion surrounding insufficiencies?

One reason might be most parents believe their children are getting enough vitamin D through the milk they drink. Another might be parents simply don’t understand the importance of vitamin D. It could also be the need for vitamin D is simply being lost amongst the long list of other essential vitamins and minerals our children require.

Whatever the reasons, vitamin D deficiency is a real problem affecting millions of children every year. Vitamin D deficiencies can cause:

  • Softening of the bones
  • Rickets
  • Stunted or delayed growth
  • Skeletal malfunctions
  • Increased breaks and fractures
  • Back and leg pain
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Depression
  • Diabetes.

What’s so special about vitamin D?

Children need vitamin D for growth and development, as do babies when they are developing in the womb. This is because vitamin D helps us absorb calcium.

Most parents are all too aware that calcium is crucial for kids, as it is a key building block for strong, healthy bones and teeth. But without also getting vitamin D, kids can’t reap the benefits.

Vitamin D is the most significant nutrient for the proper absorption of calcium. Vitamin D and calcium work together to slow down or reverse the effects of osteoporosis in older adults, and give kids the best start in life by providing them with strong healthy bones. It’s essential for overall good health, and is an important factor in making sure your muscles, heart, lungs, and brain work well.

Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D can be made in the body naturally via sunlight, as well as added to the body via supplements and diet. All other vitamins come from the food we eat or the supplements we take, so the fact the body is able to produce this amazing vitamin on its own suggests just how important it is for our health.

Another special thing about vitamin D is once your body gets enough of it, the excess vitamin D is converted into a hormone. This hormone is often referred to as activated vitamin D or calcitriol.

How do you know if your child is getting enough vitamin D?

The two natural ways children can receive vitamin D is through sun exposure and foods. Sun exposure is the most efficient and organic way, and requires children to spend five to 30 minutes in the sun each day. The face, arms, legs and back should be exposed at least twice a week between 10am and 3pm, when UV rays are at their strongest.

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If you live in a sunny region and spend a fair amount of time outdoors, chances are your child’s vitamin D levels are pretty good. If not, you’ll need to consider supplementing their lack of sun with foods such as oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel), fortified cereals, milk and portobello mushrooms.

You might also need to consider a dedicated supplement, as the levels of vitamin D in food are very minimal. This is especially the case for children with dark skin (who need longer periods in the sun to account for higher melanin in the skin), or children with allergies (who may have a harder time absorbing vitamin D).

Signs your child might be vitamin D deficient

There are a number of signs that may indicate your child is lacking in vitamin D. These include:

  • Aches and Pains: Vitamin D helps your bones absorb strength-building calcium. Without it, your child’s skeletal structure is weakened, causing achy, throbbing sensations in their back and limbs.
  • Head sweats: A sweaty skull is one of the most prominent signs of vitamin D deficiency, indicating inflammation in the bones of the skull.
  • Skeletal deformities: Because bones become weaker and softer without vitamin D, you may see signs of your child’s spine curving, or legs bowing. You may also notice thick wrists and ankles, pelvic problems, and skull malformations.
  • Cavities: Vitamin D is not only crucial for bones, but for teeth too, and a deficiency can often lead to a range of dental issues.
  • Frequent respiratory infections: Children with low levels of vitamin D are more susceptible to colds and infections, possibly due to a weakened immune system.
  • Shorter stature: Because bones aren’t getting enough nourishment, children with vitamin D deficiency may appear shorter than their peers.

What to do if you suspect a vitamin D deficiency

If you are worried your child might be vitamin D deficient, talk to your GP or health care nurse. Your GP may order a blood test, which is the best way to check vitamin D levels.

For mild deficiencies your GP may suggest a bit more sun. For more serious deficiencies, your GP will most likely recommend a vitamin D supplement, which should be taken for a period of up to 3 months. You could also talk to a dietician about vitamin D supplements, however most children won’t get enough vitamin D from food alone.

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Note: Spending too long in the sun isn’t good for your skin, so use sun protection and keep sun exposure to the recommended amount each day. In Australia this time is less than other countries, and seasons will also have an impact. In winter, children may require two to three hours of sun each week, whereas in summer a few minutes each day should be sufficient.

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Important Notice to Parents and Guardians

  • The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding is best for your baby.
  • Having a balanced diet when breastfeeding is also important. Infant Formulas should only be used after you’ve sought advice from a doctor or health practitioner.
  • A decision not to breastfeed can be difficult to reverse and introducing partial bottle feeding may reduce the supply of breast milk. It is also wise to consider the cost of infant formula.
  • If you use infant formula, all preparation and feeding instructions must be followed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important for your baby’s health.