One of the most important vitamins for your child’s developing jaw and teeth (and bones for that matter) is Vitamin K2. Depending on where you live Vitamin K2 can be easy to obtain or, thanks to modern technology, can be delivered right to your doorstep within a couple of days. The majority of Vitamin K2 comes from animal products that are pasture-raised and grass-fed (a small amount comes from healthy intestinal bacteria that convert Vitamin K1 to K2 — but even those people with the healthiest of microbiomes can’t rely on that as an adequate source).
Vitamin K2 for Jaw Development
Vitamin K2 cooperatively works together with two other fat-soluble Vitamins, A and D, to move calcium around in your body, making sure that it gets to the proper places, namely your bones and teeth. These vitamins help keep calcium out of places that cause trouble, like your arteries. Vitamin K2 will also help ensure that your child’s face and jaw grows to its fullest and most functional proportions. Another important way you can ensure this proper jaw development is by breastfeeding your baby for as long as possible. Learn more about the connections between breastfeeding, Vitamin K2 and proper development, here.
Sources of Vitamin K2
Remember to look for 100% grass-fed or pasture-raised when it comes to purchasing animal products to ensure you’ll be giving your kids Vitamin K2. Unfortunately, most commercial dairy and conventionally raised animals just won’t provide you with the K2 necessary for your health. Studies show that only animals grazing on Vitamin K— rich grasses grown in highly nutrient-dense, clean and toxic-free soil provide a significant source of K2. Bottom line: don’t waste your time or money on conventional products in the name of K2 because they just don’t provide it. If you can’t find grass-fed, or pasture-raised animal products in your local grocery stores, there are many online purveyors to choose from. Butcher Box is my favorite resource for this. My wife and I get all of our meat from them, delivered once every other month (now that the kids are out of the house, we don’t go through food that quickly anymore!)
Ready to jump in your kitchen and get more K2 in your diet? Try these 3 delicious ways to get more Vitamin K2 in your child’s diet:
- 2 tbsp Butter grass-fed, divided
- 1/4 cup Onion chopped (or better a leek)
- 1 dash Black Pepper
- 1/2 cup Spinach finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Milk grass-fed, whole
- 1 tbsp Arrowroot Powder
- 1 tbsp Water
- 1/4 lb Gouda Cheese smoked, shredded
- 2 tsp Salsa Verde optional, as hot as you can stand
- On medium-low heat melt 1 teaspoon of the butter and add the onions and salt, cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add rest of butter and stir in spinach, cooking another minute until spinach is wilted.
- Stir in milk and heat for another 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile whisk the arrowroot powder into the water.
- Stir into the milk mixture and add the gouda.
- Stir in the salsa verde and heat until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened, stirring frequently.
- 1 whole Egg pasture-raised, cracked and placed in a small dish
- 1 dash Vinegar (this helps keep the egg white together)
- Bring a saucepan to a rolling simmer and add vinegar.
- Create a gentle whirlpool in the pan of water with the end of a large wooden spoon.
- Carefully place the egg in and cook for 3 minutes.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and serve immediately.
- 3 tbsp Sea Salt or Coconut Oil
- 1/2 cup Popcorn organic
- 3 tbsp Butter grass-fed
- 1/4 tsp Onion
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- Heat a 3-quart saucepan to medium-high heat, add oil.
- When oil is hot, add a few popcorn kernels and cover.
- Once those have popped, add the rest of the kernels in an even layer.
- Remove from the heat for 30 seconds and return the pot back to the heat.
- When the popcorn starts to pop, slightly open the lid to let the steam escape and gently move the pan back and forth on the burner to prevent burning.
- Once the pops slow to a few seconds in between, remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl big enough to stir the butter on the popcorn.
- Season with spiced butter and salt.
- While the pan is heating to make the popcorn, melt the butter on low in a small pan.
- Once melted, add the turmeric, nutmeg and cinnamon.
With these three easy and delicious ways to get Vitamin K2 into your child’s diet, their palates will expand with tasty new flavors, and you can feel good about contributing to their health in a powerful way, now and in their future!
Dr. Mark Burhenne
What are your favorite foods that are rich in K2? Let me know in the comments below.