Breastfeeding alone can provide all the nutrients your baby needs for the first six months – with one notable exception being Vitamin D.
Health Canada recommends all breastfed or partially breastfed healthy, full term babies get a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU every day, from birth until 12 months of age. Babies fed formula alone do not need extra vitamin D.
Give your breastfed baby liquid vitamin D supplements. These are easily absorbed. Carefully read the label for directions on how to give your baby 400IU. Vitamin D supplements are available at your local pharmacy or health food store.
After 12 months, give your baby foods that contain vitamin D, such as cow’s milk, each day. 500 mL (or two cups) of whole milk meets your baby’s vitamin D needs. Other sources include fish, egg yolks, soft margarine, bread made with vitamin D-enhanced yeast, and yogurt or cheese made from fortified milk.
Call Dietitian Services at HealthLink BC (8-1-1) for more information about vitamin D food sources and supplements.