Healthy Cook Books for Type 1 Kids and Diabetics

Mary Kate Cary Health Guide
  • The Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cookbook

    (No author listed)

    Annie’s favorite kids cookbook – all the recipes are kid-tested and fool-proof, plus nutrition information for every one! Most of the recipes are things that kids would actually eat -- nothing too exotic – and all come with start-to-finish times and suggestions for accompaniments. Along with pages on how to set the table and measure ingredients, there’s a page on how to read nutrition labels. There are a few too many desserts, but other than those, most of the recipes seem relatively healthy to me. Photos with every recipe and lots of fun graphics. A great gift for kids with diabetes because it’s one of the few with carb counts for every recipe. And it doesn’t have diabetes in the title!
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    (Hardcover, $15.95)

    The Healthy Body Cookbook

    by Joan D’Amico and Karen Eich Drummond

    Written by a registered dietitian and an elementary and middle school teacher, this cookbook for kids has a variety of hands-on lessons about diet, exercise, and the various systems of the body. All the recipes are kid-tested and require only common ingredients and tools. Nutritional information for each recipe appears at the back of the book (instead of alongside the recipe) but there’s one big problem: no carb counts in the nutrition information! Some of the recipes are a little sophisticated – I know my kids won’t eat bok choy – but overall, it’s a good, healthy cookbook. Too bad about the carb counts. (Paperback, $12.95)

    The Glucose Revolution: The Authoritative Guide to The Glycemic Index – the Groundbreaking Medical Discovery

    By Jennie Brand-Miller, Ph.D., Thomas M.S. Wolever, M.D., Ph.D., Stephen Colagiuri, M.D., Kaye Foster-Powell, M. Nutr. & Diet

    A good friend gave me this book when Annie was first diagnosed, and frankly, it looked a little crazy to me so I never really took it seriously. Now, six years later, with Annie’s blood sugar numbers spiking because of puberty, our doctor is recommending a low glycemic-index diet to help avoid the yo-yo effect of high and low blood sugars. I’m now a believer. The gist of the book is that not all carbs are created equal. If you take two foods – let’s say a slice of angel food cake and an apple – that may have the same number of fat grams (none) and same carb count (18 grams), yet they’ll have drastically different glycemic index numbers – the apple comes in at 38, the angel food cake at 67. This book explains why foods with high glycemic indices will make blood sugar skyrocket and why others won’t. Comes with helpful tips, a few recipes and best of all, a list of common foods and their glycemic index numbers – which are not always intuitive. (A slice of a French baguette comes in at 90 while a slice of sourdough bread is only 52.) It’s definitely helped our family and despite my earlier reluctance, I’d now highly recommend it. Apparently, so do health professionals who specialize in kids with diabetes.

  • The Joslin Diabetes Quick and Easy Cookbook: 200 Recipes for 1 to 4 People
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    By Frances T. Giedt and Bonnie S. Polin, Ph.D. with the Nutritional Services Staff at the Joslin Diabetes Center

    The Joslin Center at Harvard is one of the leading diabetes centers in the world, and the fact that its name is on this cookbook means a lot to me. This book is geared toward those who are cooking for people with diabetes, and one of the opening chapters deals with setting up your pantry right after diagnosis. While the introduction seems to speak to adults with Type II, most of the recipes are aimed at busy families with older kids who are willing to go beyond chicken nuggets and Tater tots. There are a few funky recipes such as curried tofu, but most of them are healthy versions of dishes like mushroom ravioli, potato pancakes, turkey casserole, crab cakes, and the like. Good news: every recipe has nutritional information right next to it, which is a bonus, especially for casseroles. Bad news: no photos, and most of the recipes are for written for two people, so you’ll have to double if you are cooking for the family. But that’s not a big deal. All can be made in 30 minutes or less with familiar ingredients. Plus the desserts are pretty good. It would be nice to send a copy over to a newly diagnosed family along with a casserole from that chapter, with the carb count per serving taped to the outside of the dish.

    The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook

    Edited by Susan Westmoreland

    You can still buy this 2001 book used from Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. Weighing in at nearly 900 pages and 1,500 recipes, this is similar to the Joy of Cooking but with nutritional information for each recipe. Not geared toward people with diabetes or other nutritional issues. Just a solid cookbook with all the standard recipes and photos, plus with nutritional info to boot. Great for family meals of regular food, and you can see the carb count for each recipe. Would be a nice gift for a young adult with Type I who is just starting out in an apartment or getting married.
Published On: September 22, 2006