Sunday, August 23, 2009

Healthy Snacks for Diabetic Children

Understanding diabetes is the first step in planning healthy snacks for diabetic children. There are 2 types of diabetes that children can be diagnosed with – type I and type 2. With type I the child’s pancreas stops producing insulin usually due to a combination of genetic and environmental issues.

With type 2 the child has sensitivity to carbohydrates. A diet high in processed and refined carbohydrates combined with inactivity and a family history of diabetes can cause the insulin the child makes to become “sluggish” and eventually lead to high blood sugars. So type I is an absence of insulin, and type 2 is a resistance to the insulin that is there.

Both types need to monitor amounts of carbohydrates and choosing healthy carbohydrates from real whole food sources paves the way to choosing healthy snacks.

Healthy sources of carbohydrate include:

  • fruits and vegetables
  • low fat plain dairy products
  • nuts, seeds and nut butters
  • whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa
  • beans/legumes
  • buckwheat

How do we translate these choices to healthy snacks for those with compromised blood sugars? Sticking to foods that are in their whole form, rather than packaged foods is the first step. Following are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. 2 tablespoons of natural peanut or cashew butter with cut up apple or celery
  2. 2 slices of hard cheese melted on a whole wheat tortilla
  3. “Healthy Nut Mix” – recipe from blog 4/1/09
  4. Mixing a fresh ricotta cheese with berries, cinnamon and a little honey
  5. A miniature relish plate for kids with pickles, olives, hard cheese and grapes
  6. Homemade Hummus (recipe below) with carrot and celery sticks
  7. Ricotta Buckwheat pancakes (see blog 7/14/09) with Apple Blueberry Compote (recipe and picture in this blog)

Use your imagination and even take your child shopping to get them involved in picking our wholesome healthy food at the grocery store or farmer’s market. Their involvement in the process of healthy eating encourages healthy consumption!

Apple Blueberry Compote

Servings: 6 ½ cup servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes


4 medium apples, peeled and diced

(mix of Golden Ginger, Gala, Pink Lady, and Fuji)

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 tablespoon butter, cut in little pieces


Preheat oven 400 degrees.

Mix apples, blueberries and spices in glass dish. Dot with butter. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and then stir. Mixture will turn purple with stirring.

Per Serving

Calories 85

Protein 0 grams

Total Carbohydrates 18 grams

Total Fat 2 grams

Fiber 4 grams

Sodium 0 mg.

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