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January 23, 2004

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Charlotte, North Carolina, USA:

My wife and I have educated ourselves about as much as we can at this early stage of my child's diabetes. There are still some issues that are not clear concerning his diet. My son's doctor told us to stick to his normal diet, excluding candies and other sweets. However, what is the difference in giving my son a fruit (peaches, pears, orange slices) at dinner than giving him chocolate "goodies"? Some of the fruit content seems just as high in sugar. Are we not understanding our doctor when she says that we can continue to give him the same diet that he's used to, excluding candy, or should we not be giving him fruit that is high in sugar?

Answer:

Current nutrition teaching for diabetes is that the total amount of carbohydrate is more important than the source of carbohydrate, which allows small amounts of sweets to be incorporated into your child’s mealplan. If you haven’t met with a registered dietitian who specializes in diabetes meal planning, I would advise a meeting with him/her to assist you and your son with developing an individualized meal plan that will optimize blood sugar control and give your son’s adequate calories for growth.

JMS