The nutritional needs of a child with diabetes are no different than a child without diabetes. All children need a healthy diet which includes a variety of foods from each food group to stay healthy.
Insulin is needed for the body to use the carbohydrates in food for energy. In type 1 diabetes the body is no longer able to make insulin therefore insulin must be given. The amount of insulin must be matched with the amount of carbohydrate eaten.
There are two main types of insulin:
A healthy diet needs to include carbohydrate foods. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and milk are healthy food choices with carbohydrate. Carbohydrate counting helps determine the amount of insulin to be given for that meal.
Foods that contain carbohydrates include:
All foods, including sweets, can be worked into a daily meal plan by counting grams of carbohydrates.
There are many sources to help with carbohydrate counting such as food labels, restaurant guides, books and web sites.