Nutrition Advisor Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, wrote a chapter on feeding vegetarian children that was included in the Pediatric Manual of Clinical Dietetics, a publication of the American Dietetic Association. Reed also wrote a chapter titled “Nutrition for Babies and Their Moms” that appears in the book Veg-Feasting in the Pacific Northwest, a project of the Vegetarians of Washington. In addition, she wrote the foreword for Nava Atlas’ newest book, The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. Reed spoke to the Nutrition Department at the University of Maryland on vegetarian nutrition and to more than 75 attendees at a meeting of the Boston Vegetarian Society on the topic of raising vegetarian children. VRG’s Food Service Advisor Nancy Berkoff, RD, EdD, CCE, gave a presentation to the Foodwriters Association of Orange County (California) on the popularity of vegetarian recipe writing. She also gave a presentation on incorporating vegetarian kosher meals into health care and school menus at the Kosher World Conference in Los Angeles. Nancy presented a vegetarian salad dressing, sauce, and soup seminar at MenuDirections in Baltimore. This event was attended by non-commercial food service directors from schools, colleges and universities, and health care organizations. Also, her text, Nutrition for Culinary Arts, was published by Prentice Hall in January 2004.
Several VRG members have contacted us asking about the vitamin D which is being added to some brands of orange juice. We contacted Tropicana and Florida’s Natural Growers. Tropicana said, “The form of vitamin D added to Tropicana products is vitamin D3. It is a synthetic powder and is the same form that is added to milk. Our source of vitamin D is not derived from an animal.... The form we use of vitamin D3 is cholecalciferol. It is made synthetically from 7-dehydocholesterol which is also made synthetically. This does not come from an animal source.” We were unable to obtain more information about the starting material of their 7-dehydocholesterol.
Florida’s Natural Growers said, “The vitamin D3 that we use in our calcium added orange juice is synthetically made. However, the starting material used to produce this Vitamin D3 is Lanolin (a type of fat).” Lanolin is obtained from sheep’s wool.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that is needed for healthy bones. Food sources of vitamin D include breakfast cereals, soymilk, and rice milk that have been fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D is also produced following sunlight exposure. At least 10-15 minutes of summer sun on hands and face (without sunscreen) two or three times a week is recommended for adults so that vitamin D production can occur. Sunscreen should be used at all other times.
If you cannot spend time outside routinely or if you live in the North in the winter and your diet does not include vitamin D sources regularly, a vitamin D supplement is needed. Current recommendations for vitamin D are 5 micrograms (200 IU) for children and for adults 19 through 50 years old, 10 micrograms (400 IU) for 51- through 70-year-olds, and 15 micrograms (600 IU) for those 71 and older.
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