My latest feature for Waitrose Weekend is a piece prompted by a Radio 4 programme where they discussed the poor rates of supplementation parents in this country give to their kids. Rickets is on the rise due to a lack of vitamin D in the diet – we just don’t get enough sunshine in this country to make it either, plus parents slather their kids in factor 50 at the slightest hint of sun. You can’t win I guess.
So I thought it would be interesting to look at why our kids need vitamin D. Then I remembered working on a milk supplement for Waitrose Food and realising that milk is a far far better source of calcium than green leafy vegetables. There’s too much demonising of milk and dairy in general for my liking these days. As part of my research, I learned about peak bone mass – that you only have until your early 20s to store up calcium in your bones – and that right at the point when teenagers should be tanking up on calcium they’re often not. Girls in particular.
Talking to a Waitrose nutritionist I discovered all these other points at which you need a bit more of this or that. It’s not complicated and a balanced diet is generally the answer to most things, but if you knew your child was low on vital calcium needed for their bones, you’d do something about it wouldn’t you? As always, knowledge is power.