After reading Stephan's post on trials of Vitamin D3 in kids, I'm inclined to try my own kids on it -- but like lots of kids, they hate swallowing pills, and I haven't heard of any kid-friendly varieties. Do your kids take Vitamin D supplements in paleo kinds of quantities (the study Stephan cited had 10-yr-olds on 1200 IU/day)? If so, what kind/brand of supplement do you give them?
Liquid drops are the way to go for kids.
iherb.com carries several brands. Here's a link to one that's 2000 IU per drop:
Also, with Vit D3 you don't have to supplement every day. It can be just two or three times a week.
We use Bio-D-Mulsion drops, we live in the pacific northwest so even spending lots of time outside we don't get much vitamin D from sunlight for a large part of the year. My kids take 2000 iu a day currently. I cut the amount back in the summer. We started supplementing last year around April and we haven't had any illness worse than a mild cold since. I'm pretty impressed, especially because last year it felt like I spend most of the winter trapped inside with really sick kids.
Do any of your kids get to run around half naked in the sun without sunscreen for at least a portion of the day? I realize that in winter in the northern regions that won't help much, but so many parents slather their children with heavy duty sunscreen first thing in the morning all spring and summer long. I think some exposure to natural unadulterated sunshine is good for everyone.
I am ready to swear by the oil drops. The 2000IU ones are incredibly cheap when ordered online. One or two drops can be put on a fork-full of whatever they are having for breakfast and there is absolutely no taste to it. Also, by giving it at breakfast we can be sure it is getting the maximum absorption as the rest of their digestive system is cranked-up and running at full steam.
We give it three days a week (Sat, Sun, & Wed) so as to average a dose of one drop/day for our six year old, and 0.5 drop/day for our 2.5 year old.
Also of note, we had our son's D level tested by ZRT Labs in late January. I was a little surprised (though not entirely) that his D level was just below the minimum recommended for minimal healthiness. He plays outside a decent amount (we are in the city so he doesn't live outside like a country kid or cul-de-sac kid might), took a multi-vitamin, and occasionally fish oil. Not knowing any better, he wore sun screen, but we weren't fanatical about it by any means. I'd say we were typical to moderately above typical of millions of families for the amount of D he got, and he was still below recommendation. It really makes me wonder about all the TV & video game kids (he doesn't get either) that don't get any supplementation and are fanatical about sunscreen (which describes a lot of his friends).
I'll be testing his D level again before summer. Hopefully after those results I'll be able to totally swear by oil drops. :-)
My kids and I take the same thing. They have no problem swallowing them as these pills are quite small. In fact, they can just chew them if they like and spit out the casing material. The taste isn't bad.
We use "Healthy Origins, Vitamin D3, 2,400 IU, 360 Softgels" from iHerb.com
Despite their "healthy" supply of D3, my kids still get colds and coughs. I think we probably even had "swine flu" last November. We got better. :-)
My older kids (ages 8,7,6, and 5) take the regular vit D3 2000 iu. Hubby and I take a 5000 iu. the 'baby' (age 3) takes 2 of the 1000 iu gummies but I'll be switching him as soon as that bottle is out.
As speno said, the wee pills are tiny and very easy to swallow.
I've noticed a marked decrease in illness since we started! :) With 5 kids under 9 in the house you can imagine how it is (and their daddy is a school teacher!) we get exposed to everything.