Healthy Nutrition Gets Your Child Off to a Good Start
The importance of healthy nutrition for children when the weather gets cold
Sometimes spring can seem so far away! While the weather stays cold and the days short, it is important to remember to think about the nutritional needs of your children. With less daylight hours, kids spend less time outside being active, which can impact their growth and development. At the same time, there are a plethora of nasty colds and viruses to watch out for. The right nutrition can help support your kids until the weather brightens up. Below we look at some key tips to make sure your kids feel fine in the lead up to Spring.
Supplement the sunshine
Vitamin D is needed for normal growth and development of bone in children.1 The way kids get this vital nutrient is through exposure to direct sunlight on their skin.2 From early April to late September most children in the UK can get sufficient quantities of vitamin D by spending time outside. However, during the winter months this can be more of a challenge. The hours of daylight are much shorter and the winter sun does not contain enough UVB radiation for the skin to synthesise vitamin D.3 Indeed, it is estimated that the average toddler in the UK only receives 27% of their recommended vitamin D uptake during winter.4 Parents of African, African-Caribbean or South Asian origins have to be especially vigilant with their kids. Darker skin contains more melanin, which means it does not absorb UVB radiation as efficiently as paler skin.3
Although certain foods can be a source of vitamin D – including oily fish, red meat and eggs – Public Health England (PHE) recommends that children between the ages of 1 - 4 years be given a daily vitamin D supplement.5
Contain the colds
Winter is a common time for kids to get sick. It is thought that the cold weather and the short days can wear down the immune system, making your little ones prone to infection6 but, healthy nutrition can help your children keep the sniffles away. For example, vitamin A and vitamin C both help to support the immune system.7,8 The government recommends that all children between the ages of 1 and 4 years should have supplements of these nutrients, as they may not always be getting everything they need in their diet.9 Indeed, research has shown that taking 1-2 grams per day of vitamin C can reduce the duration of a common cold by 18% in children.10
Activate and energise
Physical activity is important for the health and development of children but kids can often be less active during the winter months due to the rain and cold weather keeping them indoors.11 Watching TV or using a tablet or computer for long periods isn’t good for children, nor is spending hours strapped in a high chair or the seat of a car.12 In fact, the NHS recommends that young children should be physically active every day for at least 180 minutes.13 Getting the right nutrition is also vital for healthy development. Protein contributes to the normal growth of children. So during the winter months it can be helpful to add a little more protein to their plate to give them an added energy boost.
Support your kids in sun or snow
Whatever winter and spring throw at you, give your kids the support they need with PaediaSure Shake, a nutritional drink for children aged 1- 10 years. PaediaSure Shake is packed full of 26 different vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C and D, as well as protein. The shake is also now available in a convenient, ready-to-drink format, so you can easily take it with you and make sure your kids always stay on track.
Whether its sun or snow, support your kids wherever they go with PaediaSure Shake.
 Commission Regulation (EC) 983/2009 of 21/10/2009
 Boots, 2018. ‘Children’s health guide.’ Available at: https://www.webmd.boots.com/children/guide/child-vitamin-d. Accessed January 2018.
 NHS Choices, 2018. ‘How to get vitamin D from sunlight.’ Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/vitamin-D-sunlight.aspx
 Daily Mail, 2014. ‘Number of children lacking Vitamin D soars by more than 200% in five years: Parents told to give youngsters supplements.’ Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2800937/number-children-lacking-vitamin-d-soars-200-five-years.html#ixzz54ugomGZd. Accessed January 2018.
 Gov.uk, 2016. ‘PHE publishes new advice on vitamin D.’ Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/phe-publishes-new-advice-on-vitamin-d. Accessed January 2018.
 BBC, 2015. ‘The real reasons germs spread in Winter.’ Available at: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20151016-the-real-reason-germs-spread-in-the-winter. Accessed January 2018.
 NHS Choices, 2018. ‘Vitamin A.’ Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Vitamin-A.aspx. Accessed April 2017.
 NHS Choices, 2018. ‘Vitamin C.’ Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Vitamin-C.aspx. Accessed April 2017.
 NHS Choices, 2016. ‘Do I need vitamin supplements?’ Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1122.aspx?categoryid=51. Accessed January 2018.
 BBC, 2018. ‘Can vitamin C cure a cold?’. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4BZR74LjnDSq4Qly69sZrbk/can-vitamin-c-cure-a-cold. Accessed January 2018.
 University of Cambridge, 2016. ‘Children aren’t active enough in winter, say Cambridge researchers.’ Available at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/children-arent-active-enough-in-winter-say-cambridge-researchers. Accessed January 2018.
 NHS, 2018. ‘Your pregnancy and baby guide.’ Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/keeping-kids-active/?. Accessed January 2018.
 NHS Choices, 2015. ‘Physical activity guidelines for children (under five years).’ Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/physical-activity-guidelines-for-children.aspx. Accessed January 2018.