Having a child with diabetes adds an extra layer to the already complex mission that is mealtime. Dietary restrictions for kids with diabetes vary from case to case and take into consideration factors like insulin dose, carbohydrate intake, activity level and diabetic sensitivity.
Today we have the pleasure to have Siobhan Boyle, chef and CEO of The Good Foundation
(facilitators of Jamie's Ministry of Food and Jamie Oliver's Learn Your Fruit and Veg) to chat to give us some ideas about about snacks for kids with Type 1 Diabetes.
When planning meals, it’s important to remember hidden sugars and carbs can pop up more often than you think, and in foods that aren't typically considered 'sweet’. Sugar can be used to add, preserve and sometimes even disguise flavour, and can pop up in pantry staples like sauces and bread. When checking labels, keep an eye out for sneaky sugar ‘alternatives’ like honey, molasses, agave nectar, corn syrup, corn sweetener, dextrose, sucrose, fructose and glucose.
The safest and easiest way to avoid sugar traps is to prepare fresh food yourself where possible. This means you'll know exactly what you're putting into your kids' bodies while making it easier to count carbs and adjust insulin as needed.
Making fresh snacks and lunches doesn't have to be time-consuming, especially when you get the kids involved in the prep! Did you know kids are more likely to eat food they've helped prepare themselves?
When planning meals for your child, it’s important to remember carbs still need to make up a third of their diet. By swapping refined cereals for wholemeal, you can avoid steep spikes of blood sugar levels by slowly releasing energy.
Having a ‘menu’ of snacks with a controlled amount of carbs is a great strategy to help your child feel in control, make it easier for them to count their carbs, and help them feel like they aren’t on a restrictive diet.
So, what are our top choices of tasty treat and lunch box additions?
Snacks with under 15 grams of carbs
- x3 Turkey roll-ups – wrap a piece of tomato or avo in a slice of turkey
- x2 ‘Ants on a log’ – spread half a tablespoon of peanut butter on a celery stick and top with 3 or 4 raisins
- x1 Rice cake with a tablespoon of peanut butter
- 60g of hummus with celery sticks
- x2 Apple quarters topped with a tablespoon of peanut butter on each
Alternative low-carb snack option
- Hard-boiled egg – top with a tiny sprinkle of salt, curry powder or dukka
- Omelettes – cut into bite-size pieces and add to a cooled lunchbox
- Crackers topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon or turkey slices
- Lettuce wraps – spread light mayo on a lettuce leaf and fill with smoked salmon, egg, leftover chicken or tuna
Want to learn more strategies for increasing the amount of fruit and veg in your child’s diet while managing their diabetes? Check out Jamie’s Ministry of Food’s upcoming programs either online or face-to-face in selected locations.