Having kids with type 1 diabetes is hard enough, especially since you must do strict diabetes food management for their health. Since type-1 diabetes requires constant discipline in eating, it can be stressful for kids. Managing healthy snacks for kids with diabetes can also be hassle for parents, especially since so many snacks nowadays are loaded with sugar and carbohydrate (and these kinds of snacks are the ones kids really love!).
While taking care of kids with diabetes is not easy, you can rely on these diabetes food tips to make sure that your kids are well-fed, satisfied, and healthy.
5 Steps of Diabetes Food Management Tips at Home
From choosing the best snacks to being creative with food preferences, here are 5 steps in diabetes food management you can apply at home if you have kids with diabetes:
Prepare healthy snacks in bulk.
Healthy snacks are important for kids with type 1 diabetes, to prevent hunger pangs between meals and keep the blood sugar level stable. Since most snacks at stores are high in sugar and carbs, you should keep a bulk of healthy snacks at home. Keep staples such as low-fat peanut butter, whole grained crackers, low fat cheese, and low fat yogurt. You can also provide colorful fruits as snacks such as apple, pear, and strawberries.
Match your snacking portions with the kids.
While it is easy to regulate meal portion, snacking portion can be a little tricky, since snacking makes it easy for use to eat mindlessly. If kids see you snacking without minding the portion, they will want to imitate you. Make sure you match the size of your snacking portion with your kids’, and explain to them the importance of portioning the snack size (plus, reducing snacks is also good for your own health).
Be creative with the menu.
You must be careful when choosing foods for type 1 diabetes, but when serving them, be as creative as possible to appeal the kids. For example, you can create a “face” from fruit and vegetable slices on the plate for little kids. You can also try simple recipes to create healthy breakfast, lunchbox meal, and snacks that are abundant on the internet. If there are particular recipes that you and the kids like, keep them and buy the ingredients in bulk.
Give choices to kids.
Kids usually don’t like it when you force your options to them. However, if you give them options, kids will be more likely to accept what you choose for them. For example, make 2 or 3 options of healthy snacks, and ask them to choose what they want for that day. You should be consistent in this matter; make sure to give them only the available healthy snacks.
Eat in pleasant atmosphere.
It is easier to eat healthy if the mealtime atmosphere is pleasant. Make sure you make time to eat with the kids, in a calm, friendly dining table. Use this opportunity to talk with kids about lots of things, including the importance of eating healthy.
Diabetes food management requires discipline, especially if you have kids with type-1 diabetes, but creativity and positive attitude can help you and the kids manage mealtimes without problems.