Menu Planning Tips for Diabetes Children
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Home pageAbout KASHKASH OfficersMembership InfoConference InfoKASH NewslettersSurveysLegislative IssuesContact InformationUseful Links and ResourcesKASH Student Scholarship Application FormCoordinated School Health Institute With more children than ever being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, schools have to modify how they do food-related activities and accommodate those with the condition. We now have more options and flexibility than ever. When planning a party for children for example, the party has to have food that everyone can eat. There are many goodies that both are tasty and accommodate those with Diabetes.

When serving a "dessert," don't tell the class that it is a "diabetic" or "healthy" dessert because this perpetrates the stigma that it won't taste good. Instead, wait to tell the class how good for them it was until everyone has eaten and enjoyed it. Be sure to inform those who are diabetic and assure them that this is something they can eat. Also be able to provide them with nutrition information such as serving size, total calories, grams of carbohydrates, protein and fat if asked.

Two web sites that provide recipe analysis are: www.gnu.org/gnulist/production/rat.html and www.umass.edu/sphhs/centers/massnutr/recipe.html. The first site is RAT (Recipe Analysis Tool) and they use the U.S. Department of Agriculture database to analyze recipes. No fee is charged for recipe analysis at this site. The second site is the University of Massachusetts Amherst; School of Public Health and Health Sciences. At this site a minimum fee of $5.00 is charged for recipe analysis.

Many groceries and bakeries can now either prepare or special order diabetic cakes and many taste very much like the sinful version we are so accustomed too. Also available are cake and frosting mixes especially for diabetics (you would find these in the diet food isle in the grocery). One dessert not generally thought of as a "diabetic" dessert but is very low in fat and not too high in sugar or simple carbohydrates is Angel Food Cake with fresh fruit and Lite Whipped Topping or Cool Whip.

To control calories, one must adhere to strict portion sizes. No matter how healthy something can be, too much of anything can be excessive. If you have regular dessert and then a diabetic version of the dessert for children with Diabetes, the desserts should appear to be the same so the Diabetic children don't feel "different." I bring this up because some of the Diabetic desserts can be more expensive than regular desserts and could become a money issue if providing these desserts for the entire class.

Most children like milk when eating sweets, so if serving goodies such as cookies or cupcakes take the opportunity to introduce children to a 1% or skim milk. Diabetic children, if over the age of two, probably already drink the lower fat milk and this would be excellent exposure for others in the class. Milk is an excellent alternative to the soft drink and Kool-Aid beverages that so many kids drink in excess today.

Another idea is to provide water as an alternative. My colleague shared an experience with me that I found very interesting. My colleague was at a function for children where all they had to drink were soft drinks; she wanted water and hunted some down. One child saw my colleague with the water and asked her where she had gotten it and told her they would like some. This person proceeded to provide pitchers of water for kids and was surprised at the percentage of the children that chose water over soda.

I've included some recipes that I've downloaded off the Internet that are suitable for children with Diabetes. Some of the recipes are not conventional desserts but I believe they would appeal to children. I've also included a recipe for a party mix. Also included for your reference is an ingredient substitution list. Many times one can adapt a regular recipe to make it lower in fat and in sugar without much of a taste change. In some recipes you can completely replace sugar with an artificial sweetener. Use caution when cooking with artificial sweeteners because some artificial sweeteners will breakdown during the cooking process. Two artificial sweeteners that are good to cook with are Splenda and Sweet-n-Low. Both of these products have instructions to tell you how much sweetener is needed to yield the equivalent sweetness of granulated sugar.

Information contributed by , RD, LD, who is a registered dietitian with the Department for Public Health. If you have questions or would like to contact her you can e-mail her at or call her at (502) 564-2339.

Helpful web sites:

  • www.childrensdiabetesfdn.com/publ.htm
  • www.bcm.tmc.edu/cnrc
  • www.deliciousdecisions.org/
  • www.operationfitkids.org/
  • www.shapeup.org/
  • www.keepkidshealthy.com/
  • www.kidshape.com
  • www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/index_cwd.htm
  • www.globalgourmet.com

I will list the web sites for you if you have not gotten them from Janice. The substitution list came from www.globalgourmet.com (LIGHTER: Healthy Substitiutions For Baking). The recipes came from two web sites. I got the recipes in parenthesis from www.uchsc.edu/misc/diabetes/recipes.htm. (French Strawberry Pie, Strawberry Yogurt Pops, Party Mix, Taco in a Bag, Peanut Butter Pizza, Bunnie Salad and No Egg Nog). The chocolate cake recipe came from www.children with diabetes.com It doesn't matter to me if this is used in the newsletter or the web site. If in the newsletter to save space I guess it would be better to give the web sites. If using in the web site, the easiest thing to do would be to hot-link to that site. Whatever you decide to do is fine with me; I just want to be sure they are credited with being the source of the recipes.

 

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