Diabetes Center for Children

Diabetes and Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an important vitamin with many health benefits! Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium. All children need vitamin D to help build strong bones and teeth and to maintain healthy muscles and immune system. For children with diabetes, vitamin D helps them use insulin better.

How does your child’s body get vitamin D?

Skin can make vitamin D when your child is in the sun. But, as the cooler months of fall and winter approach us, children get less exposure to the sun, which may affect their vitamin D level. Children may also not get enough sunlight if they spend most of their time indoors or if they do not eat foods rich in vitamin D. Did you know that your child needs to drink six glasses of milk (8 ounces each) every day to get enough vitamin D?

Vitamin D is found in foods such as milk and some yogurts, breakfast cereals and orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and some types of fish such as salmon and tuna. Vitamin D is also found in supplements if your child cannot get enough vitamin D from foods.

All children and adolescents need 600 IU (International Units) of vitamin D every day. If your child’s vitamin D level is low, he will need to take vitamin D supplements.

What is a normal vitamin D level?

A normal vitamin D level is greater than 30 (ng/ml). Vitamin D is considered insuffiencient at less than 30 (ng/ml) and deficient at less than 20 (ng/ml).

If your child’s vitamin D level is abnormal, please speak with your healthcare provider or call the Diabetes Center at 215-590-3174 to speak with a dietitian.

What foods provide vitamin D?

Food Units of vitamin D per serving
Pink salmon, canned, 3 ounces 530
Tuna, canned, 3.5 ounces  230
Fortified milk, 8 ounces 100
Fortified orange juice, 8 ounces 100
Infant formulas, 8 ounces 100
Fortified yogurts, 8 ounces 100
Fortified cheeses, 3 ounces 100
Fortified breakfast cereals, 1 cup 40
Egg yolk, 1 large 20
  • Print
  • Share

Contact Us