After your child is diagnosed with diabetes, it is important that you bring about some essential dietary changes to manage his condition. A diabetic diet needs to contain a variety of foods, but the emphasis needs to be on healthy and wholesome foods. You need to provide higher nutrition level to your child with a meal that is lower in calories. You can include a sweet every now and then in the meals, first be fully aware of the nutrition facts for kids with diabetes.
Diabetes in Children and Nutritional Facts
- Whole grain foods – Diabetic people should always be fed whole grain foods even if processed grain products are more convenient. You need to focus on whole grain foods that contain nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and folate. Bran and germ are two foods rich in these. A good example of highly nutritious meal is having brown rice rather than white, whole wheat pasta or spaghetti, taken with tomato sauce and salad full of spinach. Needless to say, sugary high calorie foods such as chips, cakes and cookies are a complete no-no. The quantity of food should be based on the recommended calorie intake of your child.
- Fruits and vegetables – You should feed your child with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Choose these with a lot of variations in colours so that a complete mix of vitamins and minerals are consumed by your child. Some foods with low glycaemic index, most suitable for diabetics according to American Diabetes Association (ADA) are spinach, collards, kale, and dark leafy green vegetables. You can also have sweet potatoes despite its high carbohydrate content as it has a lot of fibres and vitamin A. For vitamin C, your diabetic kid can have citrus fruits such as oranges, and for a complete dose of vitamins, fibre and antioxidants, berries is the best choice. Tomatoes provide iron along with vitamin C and E.
- Meal plans – You need to keep in mind the carbohydrate count of your diabetic child’s food intake. Based on this you can monitor your child’s blood sugar. According to the Juvenile Diabetes Association in USA, diabetic children can be helped in managing their condition by making them learn portion control and use of fast-acting insulin. This helps them eat just the right amount of food beneficial for their condition. You should be aware of the nutritional needs for diabetic children which involves the correct amount of insulin to be given based on the amount of food consumed and its carbohydrate content. Ideally, a diabetic diet should contain 40 per cent carbs, 25 per cent carbs and 20 -30 per cent protein.
Bear in mind these nutrition facts for diabetics with special focus on children when looking to prepare a meal plan for your diabetic child.
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