Meals 'n Carbs is a computerized diabetes nutrition tool designed by Jamie Dilliner, RN, BSN, CDE and Carole Yass, MS, RD, CDE. It is published on CD-ROM for Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and the Macintosh and retails for US$89.95 plus shipping and handling of US$6.95.
Installation was simple on our Windows 95 test machine. The system requirements recommend a Pentium for PC users and a PowerPC for Mac users. A complete PC installation requires 78 MB of disk space. A minimal installation, which should be used only if you have a fast CD-ROM drive, requires only 5 MB.
Though the program has general information about diabetes (Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational), it's strength is in meal planning. Planning meals is simple. The program asks a few questions, such as your gender, height, weight, activity level, build, and desired weight. It then calculates your body mass index, suggests a calorie level (which you can change based on input from your diabetes team), and launches the meal planning process.
The Meals 'n Carbs index, showing the program's contents
Planning a Meal
Selecting foods for a meal was easy. First you select a meal, such as breakfast. Meals 'n Carbs shows you the allowed exchanges for the meal. You then select food items from the various food categories and drop them on the plate. The program automatically updates the remaining food allowed for the meal and won't let you add too much food. When you've planned all the meals, you can print the day's meal plan. The printed meal plan shows exchanges and carbohydrate content, but no other nutritional content.
Meals 'n Carbs is very easy to use. Voice prompts help you step through the introductory information and guide you through planning your meals. This should help anyone who is new to using a computer. If you are looking for just a computerized meal planning program and do not need diabetes management tools, Meals 'n Carbs is for you.
Though I was able to print the meal plans, I was unable to print other items due to a problem with Acrobat Reader. This was disappointing. Also, I was unable to find a way to turn off the background music that accompanies the program. The music quickly became annoying. When I turned off sounds, I couldn't hear the voice prompts.
For Additional Information
Diabetes Educators, Inc.
P.O. Box 1393
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-7393
Fax: (305) 576-0509
Planning a meal with Meals 'n Carbs is as easy as drag-and-drop
Last Updated: Thursday August 29, 2002 20:59:44
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