The nation's leading pediatricians group says your kids might not be getting the vitamin D they need to help prevent disease. The group is increasing its recommendations for daily vitamin D intake. As Kristen Dahlgren reports, your kids may have to add a supplement in addition to a healthy diet.
Mom always told us to drink our milk but it turns out that may not be enough to get kids the vitamin D they need. The American Academy of Pediatrics has now doubled its recommendations for daily vitamin D intake to 400 units after studies showed it may help prevent some serious illnesses.
"There is also some more recent evidence suggest it prevents disease like heart disease, diabetes, and other kinds of autoimmune conditions," says Dr. Kimberly Giuliano, a general pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic.
And while several members of the committee which made the new recommendations disclose current or past ties to baby formula and supplement companies, there is no question among doctors that vitamin D is vital.
It is found in fortified milk and oily fish like tuna. The body also makes it after sun exposure.
"As a society we are spending a lot less time in the sun, which is good in terms of skin cancer but the downside is that is how we get vitamin D is through sunlight," says Dr. Roshini Raj, NYU Medical Center.
So many doctors say the new guidelines mean millions of children may need vitamin D supplements--even breastfed infants.
"Mom's who are exclusively breastfeeding their children really do need to supplement with vitamin D drops." says Dr. Eliana Perrin a professor at UNC Chapel Hill.
As always, it's a good idea to talk to your own pediatrician but soon millions of moms may find themselves telling kids to drink their milk and take that vitamin D supplement
Kristen Dahlgren, NBC News