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Diabetes in Children: Counting Carbs

Carbohydrate counting is a skill that can help you and your child plan his or her meals to manage diabetes and control blood sugar. Carbohydrate counting also can allow your child to eat a variety of foods, just like other kids, and to increase his or her sense of control and confidence in managing diabetes.

When you and your child know how much carbohydrate is in food, you can spread it throughout the day and control portion sizes. This helps to keep your child's blood sugar in his or her target range after meals. High blood sugar can make your child feel tired and thirsty and, over time, can damage many body organs and tissues.

  • Carbohydrate is the nutrient that makes blood sugar rise the most. Foods that contain carbohydrate include:
    • Fruits and starchy vegetables (such as potatoes and corn).
    • Milk and yogurt.
    • Starchy foods (such as breads, cereals, rice, and pasta).
    • Sugary foods (such as candy and cakes).
  • Using this method to provide consistent carbohydrate at each meal helps a child keep blood sugar at his or her target level.
  • You need to consult a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator to help you and your child understand and use carbohydrate counting.

how.gif  How do you count carbohydrates?

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ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerStephen LaFranchi, MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology

Current as ofJune 4, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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