Healthy Snacking for Children with Diabetes

Diabetic Children SnacksGetting children of all ages to eat healthy is a task on its own but if you has a child who has Type 1 diabetes it, will seem to be impossible. What you need to remember and keep in mind is that children like exciting things, so why not make healthy food more interesting? Children will eat a lot of their food from what you have in your home. So if you have more chips, cookies and sweets in your cupboard, then 9 times out of 10 these are the foods which they will be snacking on and eating. These types of snacks are high in fat and sugar and are more likely to cause a roller-coaster of ups and downs in their blood glucose levels. To prevent this from happening, next time you go food shopping try and make a point to get more healthy foods in such as fresh fruit and vegetables.

If your children don’t like the look of something but do like the taste, why not get creative and make something exciting and experiment with it?  For example, you can cut the top off a tomato so the top is zigzagged and cut eyes, nose and a mouth in it and then replace the top of it with a lettuce leaf. Or use food coloring to make “mad scientist” vegetables with weird colors (blue cauliflower, etc). Once children get interested in this idea of “new” foods, the possibilities are endless.

We know that children act like and mimic the adults in their home environment so the best way to get them to eat healthy is for you to make healthy choices with your own snacks and they will soon follow you in choosing the same kind of foods.  Another factor in eating healthy is portion sizes. Instead of serving a plate overflowing with greasy chips and burgers, you should cut it down by a third of the normal size.  If they are still hungry after they finish that, then give them some fruit that they like.

Most children wouldn’t want to eat healthy foods straight away and may throw fits until they get that nice big chocolate bar, but you shouldn’t give in. Instead, offer them a choice in which healthy snacks they can have such as an apple or an orange. Chances are that they will pick one and they won’t put up as much of a fight. You don’t have to stop buying less healthy foods, though you can save these types of snacks for a treat and only have them once a month in small quantities if they have been eating healthy and to reward good behavior. If they have been misbehaving or haven’t eaten healthy that month then you can miss that month “treats” out.

You could even try and make some more healthy snacks but make them look like cookies, chocolate bars, etc. You can find lots of recipes online which can help you do this and that way they can have their favorite foods and you are safe in the knowledge that they are healthier than the real things.

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