Where can my child get vitamin D on a vegan diet? You may have heard vitamin D referred to as “the sunshine vitamin” before. This is because it is naturally made by the skin when it is exposed to direct sunlight. However, we can’t always depend on sun exposure to get enough, as this process is not as efficient among those with darker skin pigmentation or those who live in northern latitudes. In fact, nearly 50% of people worldwide are vitamin D insuf- ficient(1). It is generally recommended that light-skinned individuals receive 10- 15 minutes of direct sunlight daily, and darker skinned individuals get around 20 minutes. Direct sunlight means going outside when it’s not cloudy, during peak times of sun (10am-2pm), without sun- screen or protective clothing. Exposure to the sun isn’t always reliable, and it is important to practice safe sun habits, so there are other options. Vita- min D is also available in certain foods and dietary supplements. Most food sources of vitamin D are an- imal-derived, but there are a few vegan options. Some of these include UV-treated mushrooms (note: unless otherwise spec- ified, the majority of mushrooms found in the grocery store are not), and fortified foods such as plant milks, yogurts, and orange juice. There are two forms of vitamin D: ergocalciferol (D2) and chole- calciferol (D3). Vitamin D2 is synthetically made and vegan, while D3 can either be derived from lanolin (sheep’s wool) or lichen. Research has indicated that if you can remember to give your child supplements daily, D2 may be more effective, whereas if you’re a more sporadic supple- menter, D3 may be more appro- priate(5). Vitamin D can be found in a convenient liquid form for infants and and children. It is also found in most multivita- mins. Overall, a healthy co mbination of sunshine, whole food sources, and supplementation as needed should provide all the vitamin D your child needs. Resources Nair, R & Maseeh, A. Vitamin D: The “Sunshine” Vitamin. J Phar- macol Pharmacother. 2012 Apr- Jun; 3(2): 118–126. Vitamin D Supplementation for Infants. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://www.aap.org/ en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press- room/pages/Vitamin-D-Supple- mentation-for-Infants.aspx Pub- lished March 22 2010. Accessed July 21 2018. Daily Needs. VeganHealth. org. https://veganhealth.org/ daily-needs/ Accessed July 21 2018. The Long Awaited Institute of Medicine Report of “Dietary Ref- erence Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D” Was Released Novem- ber 30th and is Available. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. https://www. aace.com/article/106 Accessed July 21 2018. Vitamin D Part 1: The Basics. VeganHealth.org https://veg- anhealth.org/vitamin-d-part- 1/#healthy-vitamin-d-levels Accessed July 21 2018.