November is National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM). In recent years, diabetes has become more common in our communities, in turn increasing prevalence in our Kids Eat Smart Clubs. There are many misconceptions when it comes to diabetes and diet. Many people believe that children with diabetes cannot enjoy the same foods as other children…false!
All children should have equal opportunity to eat a well balanced diet that includes “special treats” on occasion. There comes a point when that amount of “special treats” should be limited, but it’s important to remember that the amount is the same for us all…the only difference is that people without diabetes are likely to get away with a little bit of extra candy or chocolate because their body has the ability to keep blood sugar levels normal. The key points to remember when accommodating a child with diabetes in your Kids Eat Smart club are the (1) types of food offered, (2) the amount/portions (3) time at which you offer the food and (4) moderation!
A well balanced meal helps keep blood sugars stable and therefore making sure that your club offers something from every food group, and that the child has access to it is very important. It may also be important to talk to the parent or caregiver so you become familiar with the child’s diet and routine. An Example of well balanced breakfast that includes something from every food group/category could look like this:
– Side of mixed fruit (fruit)
– Slice of whole wheat toast (grains) with margarine (fat)
– Small white milk (dairy)
– Piece of hard cheese (protein – we can use this as our protein source instead of dairy)
**November 14th is Word Diabetes Day (WDD), wear blue to support the awareness of diabetes in your school and Kids Eat Smart Club**
Information retrieved from: Canadian Diabetes Association webpage; (www.diabetes.ca)
Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador