The diagnosis of diabetes in your child can be devastating. The thought of him or her having to go through numerous doctor visits for the rest of their life and having to commit to a lifelong requirement of medication are no easy tasks.
Another significant challenge is meal planning for diabetic kids. Some degree of dietary restriction will be required.
Although they do not need a strict diet, educating them regarding the importance of eating right and staying healthy is vital. The most crucial point is understanding the carbohydrate content in food. Remember that kids need foods that help them have normal growth and a healthy weight.
Here are some tips on how to plan your youngster’s meals.
#1 – Counting Carbs
Start the learning process together with your child on how to count the number of carbohydrates consumed at every meal. This allows you to adjust the insulin dose after meals. Teach them to read labels on packaged foods.
#2 – Food Groups
This can also be an alternative method. Design a menu that includes 6 food groups: carbohydrates, dairy, protein, vegetables, fruit, and fat. Allowing your child to pick one item from each category helps you to prepare a healthy balanced meal in advanced. If you are a busy working parent, this can be done every Sunday to plan for the week ahead!
#3 – Kid-Friendly Snacks
When you think of diabetic-friendly snacks, thoughts of vegetables, fruits, and Greek yogurt come to mind. But children will not necessarily like these ideas. So, why not try out low-fat string cheese, no-sugar-added natural fruit popsicles, hard boiled eggs, or nuts?
Lastly, take time for yourself. Keep calm and don’t feel too stressed. Routines and changes take a while to get used to, for both you and your child. To start you off, here are some ideas:
- Down Home Macaroni and Cheese
- Homemade Chicken Nuggets
- Cheesy Enchiladas
- Chicken Dumplings
- Kid-Friendly Chicken Fingers
Giedt FT. Diabetes-friendly recipes for kids: comfort foods. DiabeticLifestyle. Accessed 4/14/2017.
Meal planning for children with type 1 diabetes. WebMD. Accessed 4/14/2017.
Nutrition and Meal Planning. Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Accessed 4/14/2017.
Family meals – eat healthy together! McFoodAdvisor. Accessed 4/14/2017.