Diabetes in children: Quick food tips every mother can use

A lot of kids love to have sweetened beverages or packaged foods, which are cut down from diet of a diabetic child. Mothers can still make healthy yet tasty meals for their child with diabetes.
diet tips for diabetic children
Here are some food tips for children with diabetes. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Updated: 18 Oct 2023, 10:54 am IST
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When you tell an adult to not eat certain foods due to a health condition, it doesn’t fall on deaf ears. But try telling your child to replace cookies or chips with something healthier. Soon, you will see their lips quivering and before you know it, you allow them to eat what their heart desires. When it comes to diabetic children, you need to control their diet as healthy meal planning is a key part of diabetes management. There is no need for your little one to eat special foods, but as a mother, you can use easily available ingredients to cook healthy and tasty meals for your diabetic child. Here are some food tips for a diabetic child.

Diabetic children should eat a variety of foods, especially different types of vegetables.

Health Shots consulted Dr Sumeet Arora, Consultant – Paediatric Endocrinology, Artemis Hospitals, Gurugram, to find out what diet of a diabetic child should look like. But first, it’s important to know about diabetes in children.

junk food for children
Keep kids away from unhealthy food. Image courtesy: Shutterstock Freepik

How can you detect diabetes in children?

If your child urinates a lot or feels thirsty most of the times or gets tired easily and loses weight, you should take the kid for a test. Dr Arora says a simple random blood sugar test showing a level clearly more than 200 milligrams per decilitre is indicative of diabetes.

Common types of diabetes in children

In children, type 1 diabetes can occur at any age group from six months to 18 years of age. It is much more prevalent in children, however, with rising cases of obesity in kids, the incidence of type 2 diabetes has shot up dramatically, shared the expert.

Healthy and tasty diet tips for diabetic children

You don’t have to hunt for exotic vegetables for your child’s diet. Dr Arora suggested the old fashioned home-cooked thali, which has a good mix of non-starchy vegetables, protein and complex carbohydrates. He says that it is the best way mothers can provide nutritious and healthy meals to their child with diabetes.

Breakfast options for a child with diabetes

Their breakfast can include besan cheela rolls containing vegetables and cottage cheese. This gives a good balance of carbohydrates and protein. Poha is another option, but add lots of vegetables, including beans and carrots.

Lunch options for a child with diabetes

For lunch, you can make a healthy meal with a quarter plate salad, a bowl of raita, vegetable of your choice like bhindi (okra) and one bowl of of dal with rice.

Dinner options for a child with diabetes

Dinner can be spinach with roti, and if you want then you can add salad, raita and dal to it. According to the expert, okra and spinach are non-starchy and fiber-rich vegetables. They help to lower the food’s glycemic index, which is a value assigned to food items. It is based on how quickly and how high those foods cause rise in blood glucose levels.

It’s not like diabetic children can’t eat in a restaurant. While eating outside, portion sizes should be taken into consideration to avoid overindulgence.

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dehydration in children
Don’t let children with diabetes have sweetened beverages. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Food items to be avoided by diabetic children

They should stay away from sweetened beverages, including juices, carbonated drinks and sweet lassi. They just add empty calories, which means they will get no nutrition from them. Packages items like cookies and nuts as well as oils that are used repeatedly during deep frying, increase the amount of transfats and must be minimised to avoid the risk of future cardiovascular disease and cancer.


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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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