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The perfect pair: why hitting your child’s Vitamin D and Calcium intake is so important.

Getting your child to eat anything you put in front of them is a serious feat. Not to mention the added worry of them reaching their recommended vitamin intake. However, fret not, hitting nutritional targets can be as easy Vitamins A, B, C…and D.

While many parents may know that Vitamin D and Calcium are important for children’s development, few are aware that they work most effectively when consumed together. Did you know, Vitamin D’s role in calcium absorption helps our little ones avoid brittle bones, weak muscles, and impaired nerves?[1]

But why do we need calcium? Well, it helps build and maintain healthy bones and supports various bodily functions such as blood clotting and muscle contraction. Superstar Vitamin D also plays a big role in our bone health, by promoting bone growth and strength, and helping calcium to work its magic. However, unfortunately for us in Blighty, the main source of Vitamin D is from the sun, which means it’s crucial we get it via our diets or supplements.

There is a reason it’s called the “sunshine vitamin” after all!

Fortunately, there are many food sources containing Vitamin D, including egg yolks, fatty-fish and fortified milk and cereals.  And we all know that calcium can be found in dairy, tofu, soybeans, and many leafy vegetables to name but a few.

It’s all very well knowing where to find the vitamins, but most parents would agree that getting your child to eat them is the challenging part. This is where I’m here to help! I’ve partnered with Warburtons to develop some delicious and nutritious recipes to help your little one grow strong and healthy bones. Check out my three delicious, lunch-box friendly recipes below. I’ve also popped a few ideas below on Vitamin D and calcium food sources that you can refer back to for inspiration.

[1] Rutgers

High Calcium food sources:

  • Fortified cereal
  • Canned sardines in oil with edible bones
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Non-fat or low-fat milk
  • Plain, low-fat, yogurt
  • Soybeans
  • Tofu
  • Canned salmon in oil with edible bones
  • Turnip greens, collards, kale, mustard greens
  • Broccoli, cabbage, bok choy
  • Black-eyed peas, black beans, dried beans

High Vitamin D food sources:

  • Egg yolks
  • Wild caught fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel)
  • Fish liver oils
  • Beef liver
  • Fortified milk, orange juice, and soy milk
  • Fortified cereal

VITAMIN D AND CALCIUM RICH RECIPES

Rocket Thins

Here’s another way to make the school day a blast! Your little pocket rockets will love this cosmic combo. And if the kids help you to make it at home, they can pop it in their lunchbox and assemble at lunchtime. Packed with calcium from the cheese and fortified bread (which also had added vitamin D), this is the perfect fuel for healthy teeth, bones and body! Make their next lunchtime an out of this world adventure!

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Mini Ploughman’s Bento

Now here’s a funky twist on traditional pub grub! Take the humble Ploughman’s to the school canteen with my yummy bento box!  Swap crusty bread for tasty thins enriched with Vitamin D and calcium, and cut everything up into little chunks for fun finger food! Simply pack up with a cut-up hard-boiled egg and apple slices for a truly British lunch. A little tip! To stop cut-up apple from browning, simply wrap a rubber band around the sliced apple put back together.

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Veggie Omelette Toasties by Annabel Karmel

Veggie Omelette Toasties

Kids’ energy levels flagging after school or nursery? Here’s my oh-so-simple omelette toastie recipe to have up your sleeve! Eggs have plenty of protein and when served in vitamin D and calcium enriched bread thins, they make for a cracking afternoon boost.

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© 2021 Annabel Karmel Group Holdings Limited
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