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November 13, 2002

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Dothan, Alabama, USA:

My seven year old daughter does not have diabetes and is showing no signs of it, but I am very concerned about her because she is 20 pounds overweight, and there is a strong family history of diabetes. I would like a diet plan to follow and incorporate into her lifestyle. I am not having any luck finding one. I do know to cut down/out sugary foods and snacks. I want something I can follow to see that we are on the right track. I guess I am asking for a food plan that is designed for children. How many carbs should I allow her to have? Exactly how much protein?

Answer:

I admire your proactive attitude, especially in light of the family history of diabetes. I would recommend the Food Guide Pyramid as a basis for your daughter’s food choices. This approach combined with regular activity should keep your daughter at a healthy weight and decrease the risk of diabetes.

With the alarming increase of Type 2 diabetes in children, it is even more important to stress healthy eating (fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains breads and higher fiber foods) combined with regular activity. Here’s to your good health.

JMS