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August 24, 1999

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Lima, Ohio, USA:

My 17 month old niece was diagnosed 5 months ago with Type 1. She weighs 24 pounds and sugar levels range from 49 to 240. And even sometimes 300. I need to know how many carbohydrate grams or sugar grams she is allowed to have in one day. Everyone just skips around this question and does not give us a straight answer. Today her sugar was 240 and we gave her lots of water and that brought it down. But just wondering what to feed her to try to keep blood levels as normal as possible.

Answer:

The reason everyone seems to skip around your question is that unless we have growth information and a good food history, it is not possible to answer your question. I highly recommend you have the parents make an appointment with a dietitian who is experienced in working with children who have diabetes so she can help develop a meal plan for your niece.

This is a difficult age and one filled with many growth needs as well. Eating a healthy diet is of first importance and the Food Guide Pyramid is a good resource for that information. A book that I would recommend is Sweet Kids: How to Balance Diabetes Control & Good Nutrition with Family Peace.

JM