Bone Health

October 16, 2019
Bone Health

This week’s tip comes from Dr. Sheena Ranade, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at Mount Sinai. October 19th is World Pediatric Bone and Joint (PB&J) Day.  To celebrate, we wanted to share some helpful tips to make the most of your children’s growing bones and joints.

Winter is coming so it is important to find ways to stay active.  Direct exposure to sunlight helps kids make vitamin D, an important hormone that helps your body absorb calcium.  As kids will be inside more, it is important to maintain a healthy diet with plenty of Vitamin D and calcium. In addition to good nutrition, activity is important to keep your bones in shape. The more your child runs, jumps, and plays, the stronger their bones get! So bundle up and keep them moving! 

Here are some goals for how much to eat and common food sources:

Daily Vitamin D and Calcium Goals  
Age Daily Vitamin D Goal Maximum Recommended Vitamin D Daily Daily Calcium Goal
Less than 1 year of age 400 IU
1 to 3 Years 600 IU 2500 IU 500 mg
3 to 8 Years 600 IU 3000 IU 800 mg
8+ Years 600 IU 4000 IU 1000-1500 mg


Foods with good sources of vitamin D:

Salmon 3.5 oz: Fresh 600-1000 IU, Canned: 100-250 IU

Tuna canned 3.5 oz: 236 IU

Milk: I glass (8oz) between 50-100 IU

Nut milks:

1 egg: 44 IU

Orange Juice fortified: 100-150 IU/8oz

Some mushrooms have vitamin D, look for the label on packaging for more information.

Good Sources of calcium:

Black Eyed Peas: 1 cup/8oz: 379 mg (other beans and lentils are also excellent sources of calcium)

Kale/dark leafy greens: 1 cup/8oz: 100mg

Broccoli: 1 cup/50 mg

Fortified Orange Juice: 1cup/8oz 500mg

Cheese: variable amounts with harder cheeses having more calcium than soft cheeses

Low-fat yogurt: up to 250mg/8oz

Almonds 1 serving of 20 nuts yields approximately 60mg calcium

Milk: 1 cup/8oz: 327mg

*It is not advisable to drink large quantities of milk or juice unless recommended by your pediatrician.*

Happy PB&J Day!

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