Diabetic Meal Plans
If you suffer from problems with blood sugar, it is vital to stick
to diabetic meals upon which you and your healthcare professional
decide. Proper diets can help to control not only your blood sugar
levels but also your weight. A meal plan takes into consideration
the type of diabetes you have, your nutritional needs, and
medications or supplements that you are taking on a regular basis.
Planned Kids Cooking Curriculum
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Children are often the pickiest of eaters and prefer fried and
processed foods instead of grilled items or fresh produce. Foods
such as macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, and hot dogs are among
the most popular kid’s choices, including those with diabetes. By
following diabetic meal plans, you can incorporate these items into
your child’s diet, as long as you make a few adjustments.
See more picky eater tips.
Kids love to eat snacks during lunch, at home, or after dinner and
those with diabetes are no exception. Fruit and vegetables, while
healthy, get boring and no child wants to eat them all the time so
incorporating some fun but healthy snacks into the diabetic meal
plans is a good idea. Some low carbohydrate and low fat items to
incorporate into your child’s diet might include:
- Graham Crackers
- Rice Cakes
- Trail Mix
- Vanilla Wafers
- Air-Popped Popcorn
- Trail Mix
If your child prefers dairy
to carbohydrates, you could try
- fruit smoothies
- low-fat yogurt
- low-fat cheeses
- low fat, no sugar, frozen yogurt or ice cream.
Traditionally, macaroni and cheese is full of fat and carbohydrates,
both of which are bad for a child with diabetes to consume. However,
if you use fat free milk and cheese, you can create a healthier
version of macaroni and cheese. You may also choose to sprinkle on
some breadcrumbs and bake it in the oven for flavor.
To make healthy chicken nuggets that don’t stray from the diabetic
meal plans, use boneless and skinless cuts of chicken breasts since
they have the least amount of fat. Substituting Shake ‘N Bake for
the eggs and breadcrumbs adds flavor, reduces calories, and lowers
your carbohydrate intake. Finally, baking your chicken cutlets
instead of frying them significantly increases the health benefits
of the meal.
Other substitutions you might consider adding to your child’s menu
are turkey, chicken or vegetable burgers and hot dogs as they are
healthier than processed beef and pork products.
Diabetic Meal Ideas
• Beans – Beans are a staple in most diabetic diets.
Of course, while salt and additives can be controlled better
when you soak and cook
your own beans, canned beans are a great substitute. Look
for cans packed in water or natural juices, and avoid beans
packed in preservative-dense liquid. You'll find many canned
beans have already eliminated the preservatives, but many still
include a good deal of salt. Just rinse them well before eating.
• Fresh Vegetables – While fresh fruits are often a
caution to diabetics, most fresh vegetables are good to go.
Vegetables that are high in water content are a perfect food
choice for diabetics. Vegetables high in starch can pose a
problem, but those are usually easily identifiable; these
include vegetables such as corn and potatoes. Stick with
carrots, peppers, celery, spinach, and many other leafy greens
to avoid any possible issues. For convenience sake, buy already
cut up vegetables or cut them up as soon as you get them home
and store in zip-lock bags so they're ready when you are.
What you drink is just as important as what you eat since many
beverages are loaded with sugar. Water is of course the best choice
but it can get boring to a child, especially when all of their
friends are drinking juice and soda. Some healthy beverages that a
child with diabetes can enjoy include Honest Ade Lemonade, which has
no carbohydrates, Dr. Zevia’s Natural Diet Soda, and Cool Fuel, a
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Labels and Counting
If you are a child with diabetes, before you eat or drink anything,
it is important to learn how
to read nutritional labels
. If an item has too many
carbohydrates or is high in salt, you have to choose between not
eating it and sacrificing another food item so that you can balance
At each meal, it is imperative that you keep track of what you eat,
the size of the portion, and its nutritional value, along with your
blood sugar readings. This is inconvenient but important in staying
on track and in helping to avoid unnecessary health problems.
As a kid with diabetes, you need to develop good habits early on and
stick with the diabetic meal plans as they can help you to maintain
a healthy lifestyle, as you get older.
Do you have a diabetic meal idea or recipe?
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