Mmm . . . Italian food . . . Chinese . . . seafood . . . no, wait — Mexican! Definitely Mexican food tonight! Sound familiar? Everybody loves to eat out. Can kids with diabetes go out to restaurants? Sure they can.
Kids who have diabetes don't need to eat a special diet. But like all kids, they should eat a mix of healthy foods. No restaurant is off-limits, but if you're helping to choose a restaurant, look for ones that offer some nutritious items. You can check out menus online.
You don't have to find a place that serves soy burgers and carrot sticks — although that might be yummy! If you can choose some protein, fats, and carbohydrates, then you'll be able to stick to your meal plan.
Sometimes you'll go to restaurants that have just what you want and need. Other times, you may have trouble finding something that fits into your meal plan. If that happens, remember that you're in the driver's seat. You don't just have to order blindly or take whatever is on the menu. Many restaurants will answer your questions and make substitutions, if you request them.
Try these tips when you're dining out:
When you go out to eat, you should bring the things you take with you everywhere, like testing supplies, snacks, and medications. Another helpful tool is a little book that lists the calories, fats, and carbs in certain foods (you can get this from your doctor or dietitian). You can slip this book in your bag or pocket and test how well you can choose from the menu yourself. If you use things like artificial sweeteners or fat-free spreads, feel free to bring them along, too.
If you take insulin (say: IN-suh-lin), there's no need to stay home if you have to eat later than usual — in most cases, you can just make a few adjustments to your medicine schedule.
Once you know how to eat healthy, you can do it almost anywhere. Now, the only question is, do you want the chicken taco salad, the lobster tail, or . . . mmm . . . pizza!
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: August 2013
|National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases This group conducts and supports research on many serious diseases affecting public health.|
|American Diabetes Association (ADA) The ADA website includes news, information, tips, and recipes for people with diabetes.|
|Joslin Diabetes Center The website of this Boston-based center has information about how to monitor blood sugar and manage diabetes.|
|Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF) JDF's mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.|
|3-Day Food Diary Some kids with diabetes might need to keep track of what they eat. A food diary can be helpful. Ask your parents and doctor if this should be part of your diabetes management plan.|
|About Recipes for Kids With Diabetes These recipes are especially for kids with diabetes, but it can be a nutritious part of almost anyone's diet. Kids with diabetes may need to pay extra attention to the amount of carbohydrates they eat to maintain control of their blood sugar levels.|
|Nick Jonas & Diabetes: Call Me Mr. Positive Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers talks about how he handles his superstar life and type 1 diabetes.|
|Diabetes Center Diabetes means a problem with insulin, an important hormone in the body. Find out how children with diabetes can stay healthy and do the normal stuff kids like to do.|
|Carbohydrates and Diabetes If you have diabetes, you might think you shouldn't eat carbohydrates (carbs) at all. But all kids, including kids with diabetes, can and should eat carbs as part of a healthy diet.|
|Meal Plans: What Kids With Diabetes Need to Know Meal plans help people with diabetes eat right and stay healthy. What's a meal plan?|
|Figuring Out Food Labels The food label on a food package is a lot like the table of contents in a book - it tells you exactly what the food contains. Read our article for kids for more about food labels.|
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