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Some suggestions and advices for you to prepare healthy food for your kids.

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m need to. caused by diabetes. Eat Healthy * Foods y How does food affect your body? Food is the fuel that our bodies use for energy. The three main sources of fuel are carbohydrates (CAR-boh-HY-drate), protein, and fat. The body changes them into glucose for energy or stores them as fat. A car uses gas for energy—we use glucose! Eating a balance of foods that contain carbohydrate (carbs), protein, and fat every day will help your blood glucose stay in balance and keep your weight where you want it to be. Why do you need to eat healthy foods? • For energy to learn, play, and live. • To grow at a healthy rate. • To help keep your blood sugar or glucose (GLOO-kos) levels in balance—not too high or too low. • To help you lose weight slowly if you • To keep your body working properly. • To help you avoid other health problems Carbs are a good source of energy for our Do kids with diabetes need special foods? No, they don’t! Meals that are healthy for kids with diabetes are great for everyone in the family. bodies. Many foods contain carbs. Some are better for you than others. If you eat too many carbs at one time, your blood glucose may go up too high. Learn to eat the right amount at meal and snack times to keep your blood glucose in balance. c


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These are good carb choices. They have lots of fiber. • Whole grain foods • Fresh fruits and vegetables from every color of the rainbow—red, orange, yellow, white, green, blue, and purple. Choose these carbs less often: • White bread • White rice • Sweetened fruit drinks • Sweets and desserts. What about sugar, sweets, and desserts? Everyone likes the taste of sweet foods! Small amounts of foods that contain sugar can be part of a healthy meal plan. Sugary foods include soda pop, sweetened fruit drinks, syrup, honey, and candy. Desserts such as cakes, muffins, pies, cookies, and ice cream contain a lot of fat as well as sugar. If you choose to eat any of these sweet foods, just have a small amount at the end of a healthy meal. Have a piece of fruit if you are still hungry. Drink water, sugar-free soda pop, and sugar-free fruit drinks if you are thirsty—instead of regular soda pop, sweetened fruit drinks, and sports drinks that are all high in sugars. Protein foods help to build strong muscles and bones. Protein foods do not make the blood glucose go up like some carbs do. Having protein in your meal can help you feel less hungry. Foods that are a good source of protein include: • Meat and poultry without the extra fat or skin • Fish, low-fat cheese, and eggs • Dried peas or beans such as kidney, white, split, or blackeye • Soy products and nuts. How much should you eat? Your height, weight, age, whether you are a boy or a girl, and how active you are will affect how much food you need to eat each day to stay at a healthy weight. Everyone is different. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about how much to eat, specially if you need to lose weight. It’s best to spread your food out over the day and eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner and a couple of snacks as well. You will have a ready supply of energy and you won’t get too hungry. If you take in more food than your body burns, you will gain weight. If you take in less food than your body burns, you will lose weight. Being active and eating smaller amounts of food and fewer sweet or fatty foods can help overweight kids lose weight in a healthy way. You will keep your heart healthy, too. Fats are a good source of fuel for the body and help you grow. Fat does not make blood glucose go up but too much fat can make you gain weight. Choose fats that keep your heart healthy: • Small portions of salad dressing, low-fat mayonnaise, and margarine in a plastic tub • Nuts, olives, and vegetable oil • Avocados. Choose these high fat foods less often. They are not healthy for your heart: • Butter, stick margarine, and regular mayonnaise • Fried foods such as potato chips and french fries • Meats with fat on them, including bacon and lunch meats • Cakes, cookies, pies, and other desserts.


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For fun, take the “Portion Distortion Quiz” at You will learn how today’s portions compare to the portions 20 years ago and how much physical activity you will need to do to burn up the extra calories in today’s food portions. What should you eat? Use the Healthy Food Guide below to make healthy choices. The amounts to eat will vary for different foods but these will give you an idea of the right amounts for most kids aged 9 to 13. If you are older than 13, go to to find the right amounts for you. * Aim for 2 to 21 ⁄ 2 cups a day. Here are choices that equal 1 cup: • 1 cup cut up cooked or raw vegetables • 2 cups leafy salad greens • 1 cup vegetable juice Choose dark green and orange vegetables as often as you can. Vegetables Aim for 1 1 ⁄ 2 cups a day. Here are choices that Fruits equal 1 cup: • 1 cup cut up raw or cooked fruit • 1 cup fruit juice • 1/2 cup dried fruit Choose fresh whole fruits as often as you can. Your Healthy Food Guide Aim for 3 cups a day. Here Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese are choices that equal 1 cup: • 1 cup nonfat or low-fat milk or yogurt • 1 1⁄2 ounces cheese Aim for 5 to 6 ounces a day. Here are choices that equal one ounce: Breads, Cereals, • 1/2 cup of cooked Rice, and Pasta cereal • 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta • 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal • 1 slice of whole grain bread • 1/2 small bagel or 1 small muffin Choose whole grain foods for at least 3 of your 6 choices. Aim for 5 ounces a day. Here are choices that equal 1 ounce: • 1 ounce lean meat, fish, or chicken • 1 egg • 1 tablespoon peanut butter 1/4 cup cooked dry peas or Meat, Poultry, • beans as kidney, Fish, Dry white, such split, or blackeye Beans, Eggs, • 1/4 cup tofu and Nuts • 1/2 ounce nuts One serving is • 1 teaspoon vegetable, olive, or canola oil • 1 teaspoon tub margarine • 5 large olives or 1/8 avocado Heart-healthy • 1 tablespoon low-fat Fats mayonnaise • 2 tablespoons low-fat salad dressing How much should you eat? You get most of the fat your body needs from other foods you eat—so choose only a few extra servings of these heart-healthy fats each day. If you choose to eat these foods, have a very small amount and not every day. Soda Pop, Candy, Cookies, and Desserts Source: USDA (


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Think Balance— * in food, k in being active, in all you do! Putting it all together! • Eat meals and snacks at about the same time each day. Try not to skip meals. W To learn more y * • Be physically active for at least 60 minutes almost every day A registered dietitian or a diabetes educator can help you and your family make the best food choices. To find a dietitian near you, contact the American Dietetic Association. 1-800-877-1600 • To find a diabetes educator near you, contact the American Association of Diabetes Educators. 1-800-338-DMED (3633) Also check out: National Diabetes Education Program 1-888-693-NDEP (6337) American Diabetes Association 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383) • Drink more water instead of juice or soda. • Learn more about foods and how much you need to eat. • Ask your doctor or dietitian for help. • Take the right amount of insulin or pill at the right times if you need them to help manage your diabetes. It’s not always easy to eat healthy foods when others seem to eat whatever they want. Follow the tips in this brochure and know that it will make a difference in your life. Special thanks to the kids who helped us make this tip sheet. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations. Revised August 2010 NIH Publication No. 07-5295 NDEPI-2 n c CDC’s Nutrition and Physical Activity website for healthy eating tips and the Kids Walk to School Program The Dietary Guidelines for Americans that help promote health and reduce disease risk through diet and physical activity. MyPyramid Plan to learn what and how much to eat.



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