Type 1 diabetes is generally detected in childhood, which means that after a child is diagnosed with the disease, his or her diet will have to be modified. Sometimes, being different than other children by having to eat different foods is the hardest part of Type 1 diabetes for children. Lunch time can be especially difficult for Type 1 diabetic children. That’s why we have prepared some special tips to help parents of Type 1 diabetics plan special diabetic diet foods and diabetic breakfast for their children that they won’t want to trade during lunchtime.
1. Sugar-free pudding
You can either pack ready-made sugar-free pudding Jell-O cups or make a larger container of sugar-free pudding and pack a quarter cup of it into a reusable plastic container. Sugar-free pudding will not only be a tasty dessert for your little one, but it will also help your child feel like a “normal” kid when the other kids have dessert.
2. String cheese
String cheese provides an excellent source of calcium without a lot of calories or sugar. String Cheese String cheese comes in a variety of types, including cheddar and mozzarella. Plus, not only is it fun to eat, but it’s a treat that other kids will probably have in their lunches too!
3. Pomegranate Seeds
Pomegranate seeds are a sweet snack and can serve as a replacement for those popular high-sugar gummy fruit snacks that many children pack in their school lunches. In order to easily separate the seeds of the pomegranate from the skin, soak a cut pomegranate in water while peeling away at the seeds.
4. Apple slices and sugar-free caramel
Send your child to school with a special treat of apple slices and sugar-free caramel dip. This lunch-box surprise will not only leave your child feeling like he or she is getting a special snack, but your child will also have a treat that other children will want to try. (As you can imagine, lunch-box envy is sometimes hard to get with a Diabetic lunch box!)
Keep in mind that in addition to bringing a bag lunch to school, many students also have the option of ordering cafeteria food. Many schools will allow Diabetic children to have special diabetic diet meals in the cafeteria, but sometimes the parents have to supply the school with these special foods in advance. Speak with your child’s school nurse or principal to learn more about what the school can do to accommodate special meals for your child.
For example, if the menu of the day features ice cream, then find out if you can supply special sugar free desserts for your child so that he or she does not feel left out when other children have their frozen favs. Also, if there is a cafeteria meal that is not healthy for your child, such as carbohydrate-rich pizza, then ask your school if they can heat a special low-carb pizza for your child. Again, you may have to supply these meals for the school, but going out of your way to make sure that your child can eat similar foods for diabetics to other children will help your child feel more included and less “different” because of his or her diabetes.
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