November is National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM) and today, November 14, is World Diabetes Day! People all over the world are wearing blue today in support of those living with the disease. 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. It is important to remember that the amounts and types of food for us all should be the same. The only difference is that people without diabetes are likely to get away with having larger portions and treat foods on occasion because their body has the ability to keep blood sugar levels normal.
A well balanced meal helps keep blood sugars stable. Ensure your club offers something from every food group, and that access to a variety of foods is very important for someone living with diabetes. If a child in your KES Club has diabetes, it may also be important to talk to the parent or caregiver so you become familiar with the child’s diet and routine.
There are key points to remember when accommodating a child with diabetes in your Kids Eat Smart club: (1) types of food offered – for instance, proteins are a very important component of a diabetic’s meal and snacks (2) the amount/portions (3) time at which you offer the food and (4) moderation! Below is an example of what a well balanced breakfast could look like:
– Apple slices (Vegetables and Fruit)
– Slice of whole wheat toast (Grain Products) with margarine (Extras- fats and oils)
– Small white milk (Milk and Alternatives)
– Portion of hard cheese (Meat and Alternatives – we can use this as our protein source instead of dairy)
At Kids Eat Smart, we hope that every Club welcomes and accommodates all of our children!
Information retrieved from: Canadian Diabetes Association webpage; (www.diabetes.ca)
Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador