What is diabetic diet for Indians

Children in general

My child has type 1 diabetes. What should I watch out for in terms of nutrition?
What food is good for my child?
How many meals does my child need?
I always buy special children's foods, even if they are more expensive.
Ready meals
What about salt?
What and how much should my child drink?
Generally vegetarian
Generally vegan

My child has type 1 diabetes. What should I watch out for in terms of nutrition?

The same food is healthy for children with diabetes as it is for other children. The answer to the question “What can my child eat?” Is: Everything! A diet high in whole grains, vegetables and fruits is healthy and is also good for blood sugar levels. Snacking is also not forbidden: One portion (i.e. a handful) a day is absolutely okay, preferably right after a main meal. Of course, what you have to consider for a child with diabetes: The carbohydrates in the meal have to be calculated and the right amount of insulin injected. If your child has hypoglycaemia, they need to eat “fast carbohydrates”. Special "diabetic foods" are unnecessary, the high fructose content can even be harmful to the liver. You can find tips and tricks in the FAQs.

What food is good for my child?

Regardless of whether your child has diabetes or not, children need varied, healthy food, just like adults. Anyone who learns to eat healthily as a child also finds it easy as an adult. Depending on the phase of life, your child has special demands. Please also read the information on infants and toddlers, daycare and school children and young people.

How many meals does my child need?

Small children need five meals a day, i.e. three meals and two snacks, because their stomachs are not that big. The snacks are also important for children with diabetes to keep blood sugar levels constant between meals. You may also need a snack before bed to avoid hypoglycaemia at night. Older children can decide for themselves whether they want to eat snacks. Especially at school, a healthy snack during breaks helps to maintain concentration.

I always buy special children's foods, even if they are more expensive.

Except at the very beginning of their life (possibly infant formula and baby porridge), children do not need any special foods. If you no longer buy these children's groceries, you not only save money, but also do something good for your child: Most children's groceries are far too sweet and impress the little ones with bright colors and pretty packaging. Regardless of whether it's children's yogurt with lots of cartoon characters and an “extra portion of milk”, sweetened breakfast “mueslis” or special drinks - your child doesn't need any of it. Of course, if the harassment is too great, these foods can be eaten every now and then, but then count as candy.

Children are particularly susceptible to advertising and should be accustomed to a sweet taste at an early age so that they can buy sugary products for the rest of their lives. That is why diabetesDE - German Diabetes Aid - advocates a ban on advertising for "children's foods". Even supposedly healthy products like fruit squeeze bags can contain a lot of added sugar. Here it is worth taking a critical look at the list of ingredients and the nutritional table. Whole fruit is always better than pureed fruit because it still contains all the vitamins and healthy fiber. Every now and then, homemade smoothies / fruit purees can replace a serving of fruit a day.

Ready meals

Ready meals often make everyday life easier for families. But they are often too rich in salt, sugar and fat. It is also worth taking a look at the nutritional table here. The sense of taste is shaped in childhood - the more you cook yourself and the more varied you eat, the finer your child's sense of taste will be and the healthier they will eat throughout their life. Ready meals can be part of a healthy diet every now and then, but they shouldn't be on the table too often. It's best to spice up ready meals with lots of vegetables. Or you can make “ready-made meals” yourself: Simply cook double the portion and freeze half for later.

What about salt?

Getting used to it helps here too: too much salt can later lead to high blood pressure. If your child learns the natural taste of foods right from the start, they will benefit from it for the rest of their lives. Salty snacks or products rich in salty also quickly tempt you to overeat. No more than 6 g of salt should be eaten per day. Salt is also hidden in bread, sausage, cheese and finished products. It is best to use fluoridated, iodized table salt.

What and how much should my child drink?

Drinking enough is part of a healthy diet. All unsweetened drinks are the perfect choice for quenching thirst. Caffeinated drinks (green and black tea, coffee, energy drinks, cola drinks) are unsuitable because they have a much stronger effect on children than on adults: sleep disorders, palpitations, dizziness, restlessness and vomiting can result. Pure whey and juice spritzers (preferably mixed 1: 3 with water) can provide variety from time to time. Pure juice can now and then replace a serving of fruit, but due to the high sugar content it is not a thirst quencher. Milk is healthy, but it does not count as a thirst quencher, but as a dairy product. Depending on the age of your child, 300-500 ml of low-fat milk a day is recommended. Drinks sweetened with sweeteners are not recommended for children so that they do not even get used to the over-sweetened taste. It goes without saying that alcohol is unsuitable for children. But even non-alcoholic drinks such as children's sparkling wine or children's beer should not be offered so that your child does not get used to the presentation.

With a few tricks, your child will get used to drinking enough at an early age:

  • Remind your child regularly to drink. This is especially important on hot summer days, because the fluid requirement can then double. Especially when romping around, drinking quickly becomes secondary and is forgotten. Even a slight lack of fluids can cause symptoms such as dizziness, tiredness and headaches in children, as their body has a higher water content than that of an adult.
  • Offer a drink with every meal. Keep drinks within sight. Be a role model yourself.
  • Spice up the range of drinks with colorful glasses, different types of tea or by adding a straw and lemon wedge. Water also tastes more interesting if you add cucumber slices, pieces of nectarine, basil leaves or the like and let them steep a little.
  • Clarify that it is allowed to drink in between in the daycare / school and that sufficient drinking is ensured.

Generally vegetarian

My child would like to eat vegetarian. Is the?

A lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (no meat and fish, but eggs and dairy products) is also possible for children. If your child goes without meat, they have to get their iron intake from plant-based foods. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia (lack of red blood cells) and impaired development, especially in young children. Even during puberty, the body needs a lot of iron again (both boys and girls). Iron-rich vegetarian foods are whole grain cereals (products), vegetables (spinach, peas, fennel, chard) and legumes (lentils, beans, ...). The body absorbs the iron from these foods particularly well if a food rich in vitamin C (paprika, citrus fruits, ...) is also eaten.

Generally vegan

My child wants to eat vegan. Is the?

The more restricted the choice of food, the more likely it is that there will be a nutritional deficiency. A vegan diet without food supplements leads to a vitamin B12 deficiency in children, which leads to blood formation disorders and neurological damage, some of which can no longer be repaired. An iodine deficiency (also neurological damage) and an insufficient supply of protein and energy can lead to growth retardation. A vegan diet is therefore unsuitable for children and adolescents. Talk to your child and explain that they are not getting enough essential nutrients from a vegan diet. This is problematic for adults, but it can have serious consequences as you grow.

[Status: August 2017, KR]

Source:

BMEL, “Dished up! Guide to nutrition, shopping & groceries ", June 2016]
DGE, "Carbohydrate Intake and Prevention of Selected Diet-Related Diseases", 2011
DGE, "Children and adolescents consume too much salt, high blood pressure and the resulting cardiovascular diseases are favored", May 12, 2009
DGE, "Eating vegetarian food for children - yes or no?", 13.09.2011
DGE, “Selected questions and answers on vegan nutrition”, December 2016
DGE, "Vegan Diet: Nutrient Supply and Health Risks in Infancy and Childhood", DGEinfo (04/2011) 48-53
Alexandra Schek, Dietetics Compact, 6th edition July 2017
DGE, "What should children drink?", June 15, 2010
https://www.in-form.de/wissen/trinktipps-fuer-kinder-und-jugendliche/