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September 25, 2002

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Question from North Carolina, USA:

My son, just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, has always been a picky eater, and I worry about him not getting a well-balanced diet. He was taking the kids' vitamins before he was diagnosed, but we stopped after we found out, and I haven't been able to find any nutritional guides on the bottles to see how much sugar is in each tablet. What can you tell me about kid vitamins?

Answer:

The amount of sugar in a chewable, children’s vitamin tablet is negligible. As you get more proficient in reading labels, you will notice “total carbohydrates” or “sugars” listed on those labels.

Certainly, you will want to discuss the preferences of your son’s diabetes team regarding potential issues with various over-the-counter medications, such as cough and cold preparations. Even prescribed medications put into a flavorful suspension can have some glucose, but in general, the amount of sugar in such preparations are rather insignificant for most children with diabetes.

Working with your child’s diabetes dietitian will go a long way with helping you in watching carbs. That professional can guide you as to whether or not a vitamin supplement is required.

DS