A member of the British Dietetic Association, Juliette Kellow has worked in the NHS and for the food industry, and is the former editor of magazines Slimming and Top Santé. She's also the former editorial...

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth but the main source is sunlight, so getting enough during winter can be tricky. Up your intake with our meal ideas.

Who’s missing out?
It’s hard to know exactly who’s at risk of a deficiency, as we make most of our vitamin D from the action of sunlight on the skin – and for most groups of the population there is currently no RNI (Reference Nutrient Intakes). Babies and young children, elderly and housebound people, pregnant and breastfeeding women, those who cover up completely in clothing and people with darker skin are all thought to be at the greatest risk.

Important for…
Helping the body to absorb calcium, meaning it’s essential for healthy bones and teeth.

Find it in…
Sunlight (the main source). It’s found in only a few foods: oil-rich fish is the best natural source, but it’s also found in eggs and fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals and yogurts.

Boost your intake…

  • ADD SALMON to fish pies.
  • SERVE SCRAMBLED EGGS with smoked salmon for brunch and check out our article on 10 ways with salmon.
  • MAKE A SALAD NICOISE – top lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, new potatoes and a few olives with a hard-boiled egg and tuna.
  • MAKE PATE WITH TINNED MACKEREL, lemon juice, horseradish sauce and fat-free fromage frais.
  • CHOOSE BREAKFAST CEREALS and dairy products that are fortified with vitamin D.
  • USE TUNA TO MAKE SANDWICHES or to top jacket potatoes. While fresh tuna contains about twice the amount of vitamin D as tinned, the latter is still a good source.
  • MAKE FISHCAKES for children, using salmon or tinned tuna with white fish and mashed potato. Or look for salmon fish fingers.