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Question:

My 9-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 15 months. Is it okay to reward him with a small chocolate cup (without any toppings), after eating his recommended calorie intake? If so, how often can he have an ice cream treat without affecting his sugar level? Can sugars be added into his diet without harming his health as long as his sugar levels are watched?

Answer:

Your son's treats should be figured in as part of the calories allowed. One half cup of ice cream usually will take the place of about one fruit or one starch exchange. In terms of carbohydrate, it is about 15 grams. The Food Guide Pyramid should be used to help you plan balanced meals and the frequency of sweets will depend on how his blood glucose levels responds to the addition of sugar to his meal plan and what your philosophy of the use of sweets is.

JM

Additional comments from Lois Schmidt Finney, diabetes dietitian:

I am uncomfortable with using food as a reward for following his meal plan. Could he get points on the calendar and redeem them for a toy or some coveted game or something similar?

The use of sugars should be fine as long as they are figured into the meal plan. Keep in mind many of the foods high in sugar are also high in calories due to the fat content, so if weight is a problem, please be aware.

LSF

Original posting 13 Aug 1998
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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