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February 26, 2008

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Tacoma, Washington, USA:

My 10-year-old grandson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just after his third birthday. Recently, it has been a struggle to get him to drink plain water when he's thirsty as he prefers to drink zero-carbohydrate flavored water. Could there be a health problem for him to consume several bottles a day in order to keep hydrated? Or, if he becomes dehydrated, is that a larger problem? There is resentment in the home that he should have special water when the other three kids get flavored water only as a treat.

Answer:

I would suggest water as the first choice for hydration, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to vary fluid intake with an occasional artificially sweetened beverage. My personal choice are ones that are sweetened with Splenda. With regards to the resentment over your grandson receiving “special beverages,” it is better for all family members to eat (and drink) healthy, so I would promote all siblings be included in the meal planning. Most families do the best with diabetes meal planning when the whole family follows it since it promotes overall healthy eating. This should eliminate the potential favoritism issue.

JMS