Focus on food: Vitamin D

An essential nutrient, but one we need to pay attention to during the winter months!

Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body; nutrients which help to keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Our main source of Vitamin D is through the effect of the summer suns UVB rays on our skin. We can also get Vitamin D through the diet.

Advice has recently changed and now recommends a reference nutrient intake (RNI) of 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day, throughout the year, for everyone in the population aged 1 year and older. These recommendations do not take sunlight exposure into account because of the various factors that can influence skin synthesis. Therefore, new recommendations refer to intakes from dietary sources only. Natural food sources are limited but include: oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks.

It has become apparent that many people in the UK are not meeting the new recommendations. Holroyd Howe has identified the increased Vitamin D requirement and have introduced the following standards to help tour pupils meet their requirements:

  • Oily fish on a lunch menu once a week, and once a week on a supper menu
  • A range of fortified Vitamin D breakfast cereals
  • Eggs to be served daily for breakfast
  • The incorporation of red meat on a weekly menu in moderation