Diabetes and Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an important vitamin with many health benefits. All children need vitamin D, as it helps our bodies absorb calcium to build strong bones and teeth. It also helps maintain a healthy immune system.

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

If your child's primary care doctor finds that your child’s vitamin D level is abnormal, please call the Diabetes Center at 215-590-3174 to speak with a dietitian.

Sources of vitamin D

All children and adolescents need 600 IU (International Units) of vitamin D every day. Skin can make vitamin D when your child is in the sun. During the cooler months of fall and winter, though, children tend to spend more time indoors and get less exposure to the sun, which may affect their vitamin D level. Vitamin D can also be found in certain foods, which should be incorporated into your child's diet.

Vitamin D is also found in supplements if your child cannot get enough vitamin D from the sun or his diet. If your child’s vitamin D level is low, he will need to take vitamin D supplements.

Dietary sources of vitamin D

Units of vitamin D per serving

Pink salmon, canned, 3 ounces: 530 IU

Tuna, canned, 3.5 ounces: > 230 IU

Fortified milk, 8 ounces: 100 IU

Fortified orange juice, 8 ounces: 100 IU

Infant formulas, 8 ounces: 100 IU

Fortified yogurts, 8 ounces: 100 IU

Fortified cheeses, 3 ounces: 100 IU

Fortified breakfast cereals, 1 cup: 40 IU

Egg yolk, 1 large: 20 IU