Diabetes in Children: Snack Ideas for Preschoolers - Topic Overview
If your child has
type 1 diabetes, insulin, food, and exercise must
balance to keep your child's blood sugar in his or her target range. Insulin
and exercise lower blood sugar levels. Food (especially
carbohydrate foods) can raise blood sugar levels in
people with diabetes.
Small children tend to go through phases of
picky eating. Try to offer a wide variety of fun, nutritious choices. Don't
force your child to eat. If your child rejects a food, try another. If your
child will not eat anything, then offer some juice or milk instead.
Don't restrict fat in the diet of children younger than age 2. Give
whole milk to children in this age group. To increase the enjoyment and
acceptance of snacks, let your child help prepare them.
a few creative snack ideas:
- Ants on a log: Celery stick stuffed with peanut
butter and topped with raisins. Two tablespoons of raisins equals 1
- Pretzel pops: Cubed cheese on a pretzel
stick. About ½ cup of pretzels (or 1 ounce) with cheese on the end equals 1 carbohydrate choice.
kabobs: Toothpicks lined with your child's favorite fruits-canned or fresh.
One-half cup canned or 1 cup melon cubes equals 1 carbohydrate
- Smudgies: Blend 1½ cups milk with ½ cup peanut butter
and 1 package of sugar-free instant pudding-chocolate or vanilla. Beat well,
then let stand for 5 minutes. Spread filling ½-inch thick on graham cracker
square. Top with another graham cracker square and then freeze until firm-about
3 hours. Makes 12. One smudgie equals 1 carbohydrate
- English muffin pizza: Halve an English muffin, spread pizza
sauce on top, sprinkle with cheese, then bake at 350°F (177°C) until cheese
melts. One pizza equals 1 carbohydrate choice.
- Bagel bites: Slice
flavored bagels thin, like coins, and place on a baking sheet. Spray them
lightly with olive oil and bake at 400°F (204°C) for 10
minutes. Half of a small bagel equals 1 carbohydrate choice.
milk shake: Blend together ½ cup milk, ½ cup frozen strawberries (frozen
without added sugar), 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 3 packets of Equal or other
sugar substitute. One shake equals 1 carbohydrate choice.
Very small children can't tell you when they have low blood
sugar, which means that their blood sugar may need checking more often. Stars,
stickers, or words of encouragement may help reduce your child's fear of finger
sticks or insulin injections. They might help you feel better, too.