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From Robinson, Pennsylvania, USA:

My seven year old daughter was recently diagnosed with diabetes. I am confused to how much sugar free items (diabetic chocolate or sugar free gummy bears) she is allowed. She has been following her diet very well and is not a big junk food eater, although sometimes she would like an occasional sweet even if it is sugar free.


Most sugar free candy contains carbohydrate in the form of an alcohol of sugar such as sorbitol. These substances also contain calories and they may cause gastrointestinal upset such as diarrhea or gas. It is wise to keep the carbohydrate content per serving at about 5 grams in order to count it as a free food. When the calories are greater than 20 and mostly from carbohydrate they need to be counted into the meal plan. Read labels carefully and you should not have a problem including a few pieces of sugar free candy in her diet.


[Editor's comment: You should talk with her dietitian about how to count "the real thing". Then, on occasion, let her choose something she really wants, especially at parties, etc when she will be active. Children who are not allowed to eat any sweets, will often find a way to get them anyway, and this becomes a huge problem. Allowing occasional treats, at appropriate times, may foster honesty in the future. SS]

Original posting 18 Feb 2001
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:18
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