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November 13, 2001

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Newcastle, England:

My son, just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, still tells me he wants sweet things like chocolate cakes and other foods like pizza. Please tell me what ingredients I should use in place of the proper ones and what else I can make for him. I would be really delighted if you could answer my question as I feel I am not doing enough for him.

Answer:

I applaud your effort in helping your son with his meal planning and diabetes. Fortunately, nowadays meal planning has been liberalized a bit and there are no such things as forbidden foods for kids with diabetes. Portion control is much more important than “good foods” versus “bad foods”. This allows for small amounts of sweets (such as candy) and higher fat foods (such as pizza) to be worked into a meal plan on a limited basis.

Kids with diabetes seem to do better with meal planning when they are showed how small amounts of sweets can be worked into a meal plan rather than being told they are totally forbidden and cannot be worked into a meal plan. Consult with your diabetes team in order to establish a meal plan for your son that allows for adequate intake, but does not compromise optimal blood sugar control.

JMS