Kids, Food and Diabetes =

Ann Bartlett Health Guide
  • One of the great frustrations I have is figuring out food, because it’s not just about what food I want to eat, but what are good choices, then carb counting for those choices, or my food choices are dictated by my blood sugar reading.  I’ve lived on my own long enough to have a routine that works pretty well, and a family tolerant of my needs.


    However, I think there is a group of unsung heroes and they are the parents of every family who has to do meal planning!  They have to think not only about themselves, but also for the people dependent on their dexterity to manage a broad range of tastes and knowing good nutrition principles, night after night. 

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    My own family history is a great example.  When we were kids, my brother Doug ate everything on his plate, my brother David only ate his vegetables, my brother Paul only ate his meat and potatoes, and consistently, I wanted almost nothing on the plate. My mom would look puzzled and say, “I don’t get it.  The cook is the same!”


    Managing a family and mastering meal planning is hard enough for any parent, let alone adding diabetes to the mix. Quick thinking for low is one thing, but sustaining a regular healthy meal balanced to handle the needs for lower carb and perhaps even gluten free can easily consume time that would otherwise be spent with the family.


    When surfing the net, lots of sites have meal plans and recipes for people with diabetes, but they are geared for the adult, type 2 diabetes crowd. Carbohydrate monitoring is the cornerstone to a healthy diabetes diet, but with kids, the nutritional needs are different then those of adults!  Children have growing bodies that have requirement then adults who need to reduce calories, fat and cholesterol to maintain health.


    Holidays can be a bear for extended family! How can a family member find a recipe suitable for Thanksgiving? Or how can grandparents and grandchildren bake cookies together and feel confident that the carb count is correct? Caregivers have to do as much investigation as parents and the stress of making the right choices can take the fun away!


    This is what Beth McNamera faced when her son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and she had to understand nutrition with a new lens! After searching the internet for sites that would encapsulate her need to understand how to make a meal for 5 with a eye on carb counting for her son, while satisfying the rest of the family, she realized there was an unmet need.  Beth partnered with Melissa Arnold, a cook at heart and mother of a type 1, to build a site dedicated to parents with kids of type1 diabetes and meal planning.  The site is called  


    There are 3 areas to help parents develop snacks, “free” foods ideas, breakfasts, lunches and dinner and a blog section to think about food tips, apps and more. Under “fill the plate” there is a list of foods with carb counting already done.  One lists “free foods” which are foods under 5 grams of carb and a list of snacks that are 1 carb, which equals 15 grams total carbohydrate per serving.  The recipe section has easy to follow recipes, with the list from breakfast ideas to personal mini meatloaf.


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    As a member of the DOC, and I consider myself an overgrown kid, I’ll be adding my favorite recipe to the site: oatmeal with chocolate chips, or vanilla ice cream! I was never a bog fan of brown sugar and raisins, so I turned to 2 tablespoons of vanilla ice cream, or about 8 chocolate chips. Smile  


    So just like the stores that have a bowl of pennies and a sign that says "need one, take one!  Have one, add one!" this site is all about sharing ideas and experience! Check out

Published On: May 01, 2011