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May 13, 2005

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Orange, California, USA:

My 12 year old grandson, not only has type 1, but also has celiac disease. He almost never eats breakfast and sometimes does not eat dinner until after his ball games at 8 or 9 p.m. In addition, at least two or three times a week, his dinner consists of refried beans and chips from Del Taco. I'm quite concerned that he is not getting the proper nutrition he needs and wondering if not eating breakfast is worse on him, because of his diabetes than it would be on someone who does not. How important is it for him to get a well balanced meal? Because I'm only the grandma, I have to tread lightly on this subject. If it's not that big of a deal, I can quit worrying so much but, if it is going to create future problems for him, I need to step in with some proof.

Answer:

It is important for everyone to eat three meals a day but, more important, for a 12 year old boy who is still growing, has increasing caloric needs and takes insulin injections. All foods can be worked into a diabetes meal plan (some more easily than others). I am assuming he has received some nutrition education with regards to his celiac disease and what foods are allowed and which may cause troubles. If not, I highly recommend that you suggest that you ask his parent(s) to schedule an appointment with a diabetes dietitian who also specializes in celiac disease. Ask his parents to obtain a referral to a dietitian if needed.

JMS