Diabetes in Children: Counting Carbs

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http://Carbs & Cals: Count your Carbs & Calories with over 1,700 Food & Drink Photos!

Carbohydrate counting is a skill that can help you and your child plan his or her meals to manage diabetes and control blood sugar. Carbohydrate counting also can allow your child to eat a variety of foods, just like other kids, and to increase his or her sense of control and confidence in managing diabetes.

When you and your child know how much carbohydrate is in food, you can spread it throughout the day and control portion sizes. This helps to keep your child’s blood sugar in his or her target range after meals. High blood sugar can make your child feel tired and thirsty and, over time, can damage many body organs and tissues.

Carbohydrate is the nutrient that makes blood sugar rise the most. Foods that contain carbohydrate include:

Fruits and starchy vegetables (such as potatoes and corn).

Milk and yogurt.

Starchy foods (such as breads, cereals, rice, and pasta).

Sugary foods (such as candy and cakes).

Using this method to provide consistent carbohydrate at each meal helps a child keep blood sugar at his or her target level.

You need to consult a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator to help you and your child understand and use carbohydrate counting.

 

Following Meal Plans

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Because healthy meals are so important, your diabetes health care team will probably give you a meal plan to follow. Meal plans don’t tell you exactly which foods to eat, but they might give you general information like which food groups to pick and when you should eat.

Don’t worry that this plan will include stuff you don’t like. Your meal plan will include the foods that you already eat and like. The team will probably ask you to write down all the foods you eat in a food diary for a few days so that they know your tastes.

Your meal plan will help you think about healthy meals, but it also might help you reach other health goals. For example, if you need to lose weight, then the plan may suggest that you watch the number of calories and fat grams you eat to help you reach your goal.

Your parents or other grown-ups might make most of the meal-planning decisions. But if they ask for your advice, strive for balance. For instance, two baked potatoes don’t make a balanced meal. But you could have half a baked potato along with some grilled chicken and some broccoli. Top it off with a dessert of fresh berries, and you have a great balanced meal.

Types of Meal Plans


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There are three types of meal plans. Your diabetes health care team, including your doctor, will help you decide which one is best for you.

With the constant carbohydrate meal plan, the person eats a certain amount of carbohydrates  or carbs, in each meal and snack. Then he or she takes insulin  or other diabetes medicines at the same times and in similar doses each day. A child — or the child’s parents — could use food labels to determine how many grams of carbohydrates are being eaten, so he or she stays on track.

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http://Carbs and Cals: A Visual Guide to Carbohydrate and Calorie Counting for People with Diabetes

Another option is the carbohydrate counting meal plan. With this plan, people with diabetes count carbs so they can match their insulin doses with the amount of carbohydrates that they eat. Counting carbs means the person counts the number of carbohydrate grams being eaten.

Your Guide To Carb Cycling For Weight Loss

Food labels can tell you how many grams of carbohydrate are in a food. Knowing that, a person then matches the insulin dose with the amount of carbohydrates that he or she eats. This plan works best for people who take a dose of insulin (as a shot or with an insulin pump) with each meal.

Some people who have diabetes use the exchange meal plan. Rather than focusing only on carbs, a person on this meal plan needs to look at proteins and fats as well. With this meal plan, foods are divided into six groups: starch, fruit, milk, fat, vegetable, and meat.

The plan sets a serving size (amount) for foods in each group. Each serving has about the same amount of calories, proteins, carbs, and fats. For instance, an apple or an orange would each be one serving of fruit. You could choose either one if your meal plan calls for a fruit serving. The number of servings from each food group that should be eaten at each meal is based on the number of calories the person needs per day.

Exchange Meal Plan

HEALTHY-EXCHANGE-COOKBOOK

 

People who have diabetes need to pay attention to what they’re eating. The exchange meal plan can help them do that. For this meal plan, foods are divided into six groups: starch, fruit, milk, fat, vegetable, and meat. The plan sets a serving size (amount) for each food – whether it’s pizza or peas.

Within each group, each serving has similar amounts of calories, protein, carbohydrate, and fat.That way, the person can mix and match these foods and know what they’re eating. Someone with diabetes needs to keep track of carbohydrates, especially, because they cause blood sugar levels to rise. A person can use the exchange plan to get the amount of carbohydrate he or she could eat each day.

How Food Labels Can Help

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Food labels are easy to read, and they list a food’s ingredients, nutritional information, and calories. So anyone concerned about eating healthy can learn a lot from them. For people with diabetes, food labels also may provide information they need to know to keep their blood sugar on track.

For example, if you are using the constant carbohydrate or the carb counting meal plan, you can look for carbohydrates on the food label. It will tell you how many grams of carbs you are about to eat. The number of carb grams on the label applies to one serving, so be sure to multiply that number times the number of servings you’re eating or drinking.

If you’re using the constant carbohydrate or the carb counting plan, knowing the amount of carbs you’ve eaten can help you determine how much medicine to take.

Someone on an exchange plan also might use food labels. How? By looking at the food’s breakdown of carbs, protein, and fat. It can help the person know how to classify this food — as a starch, fruit, vegetable, meat, or fat. Then the person knows how to “count” that food while figuring out how many more servings are left in the day.

Food labels also show you how much sodium (salt) is in a food. This is important because some people who have diabetes also have high blood pressure. Too much salt, or sodium, can worsen blood pressure problems.

On food labels, you’ll also find information on the amount of fat, the type of fat, and the total calories in a food. It’s a good idea for everyone, including people who have diabetes, to keep an eye on these.

Eating too much of certain fats can make someone more likely to have heart and blood vessel problems. And eating too many calories can weight gain. If you’re curious, your parent, doctor, or nutritionist can help you figure out how many calories you need each day.

For more great Health and Nutrition Tips refer to the website positivehealthwellness.com.

How Absorption Works

Write it Down

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As you’ve probably noticed, meal plans mean a lot of keeping track — of the carb grams or the exchange servings you’ve eaten. To make that easier, you might want to write down what you eat and your blood sugar readings on a record sheet.

Your mom or dad can use this record to help you balance food and insulin so you stay on track.

For more great Health and Nutrition Tips refer to the website positivehealthwellness.com.

14 Simple Ways to Stick to a Healthy Diet

If you have any information,questions, or feedback you would like to include in this webpage.

Please email momo19@diabetessupportsite.com or leave your comments below.

 


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