Certified Diabetes Educator Laura Nance, MUSC, discusses appropriate serving sizes and carbohydrate intake for children with diabetes.
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Diabetes and Children: Carbohydrate Counting Laura Nance: Basically carbohydrate counting first you have to recognize the carbohydrate foods and we have the grains, the fruits, the milks and the sweets okay. So for instance if I were to say, I want some crackers we know that’s a carbohydrate food because that’s comes in the grain category. The nutrition level the easiest to carbohydrate count what will we do is look at the serving size and in this particular example the serving size is 16 crackers and then we will look at the total carbohydrate right in the middle and that is 21 grams. So, that means one serving of this crackers if were to count on 16 of them has 21 grams of carbohydrate. So, nutrition levels are the easiest way to carbohydrate count and a little bit more exact. Now, in instances when you don’t have your nutrition level we run into with rice and pasta, those kinds of things. We can’t abuse of exchange type system, meaning that every carbohydrate food in one serving has about 15 gram of carbohydrate. The catches you have to know what one serving is, so for instance this muffin I know it’s a carbohydrate food because it’s made from flour, it’s a grain product. This is one serving, and its 15 grams of carbohydrate but the catch is most people eat the muffin two or three times that big. So in that instance they would have to say one having 30 or 45 grams of carbohydrate ratio that’s 15. So the serving size is a little bit of a catch. CARB COUNTING: Should children with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes have a specific amount serving a day? Laura Nance: It’s difficult to say how many carbohydrates of type person with Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 should be consuming. It’s really individualize again with type one I’m not changing too much of what they’re eating currently but just have them recognize what they are eating in order to appropriately dose of insulin. With Type 2 diabetes we might limit them to three to four carbohydrate servings per meal but again that’s very individualizes. As part of food guide pyramid the carbohydrates typically do take up most of the diet and I do provide a lot of good nutrients so I want encourage people with diabetes that they need there carbohydrates for energy, B vitamins, fiber, calcium from the milk group, fiber, vitamin E, C from the fruit group. But the too many make calls an issue with blood sugar. CARB COUNTING: Serving Sizes Laura Nance: Well when we talking about servings I just more about in figuring out how many grams of carbohydrate you are eating. So, you know the typical carbohydrate food portion is a half of a cup. So, we say half a cup of corn because corn is a carbohydrate would be 15 grams of carbohydrate. It goes back to that every serving of carbohydrate food has about 15 grams but you would know how much you’re having unless you actually measure it out. So when we talk the parents about this we say, that you don’t need the measure out to corn onto the plate. And that’s find with me if you have two half cups but then also on your looking at 30 grams of carbohydrate versus 15. And it depends on the child’s individual prescription whether or not they need to limit the carbohydrates or how much they need to eliminate too. But the teaching part is really recognizing how much carbohydrate they’re having. CARB COUNTING: A Family Responsibility Laura Nance: If it is a child six or under and typically during my education towards the parents, once they are above age six or seven, I can include them in education but one it comes to the calculation part of the Math part it’s really the parent’s responsibility. What I found that was most of the kids want to listen when I break out the plastic food models they’re interested and they want to make themselves feel better and they know keeping on eye on this food will help them than feel better as well.
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