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September 17, 2001

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Salamanca, New York, USA:

My 13 year old son has diabetes, we space his meals two and a half hours apart, and we are thinking about increasing them to three hours apart. How far apart should meals and snacks be spaced?

Answer:

There is no fixed ‘rule’ for spacing meals/snacks over the day that can be applied to every person with diabetes. Normal caloric daily intake should be split into three main meals and as many snacks are needed taking into consideration either your son’s insulin regimen as well as physical exercise. As a rule of thumb, a lag time of al least three hours between meals is generally more physiologic. Last but not least, any individual application must be based upon lots of blood sugar readings before and after meals to see how any spacing actually works, make further adjustments, etc.

MS