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Healthy Food Swaps for Kids with Diabetes: A Nutritionist's Guide

It's important to choose the right food for children with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Here are nine unhealthy options kids love and nutritionist-approved food swaps to replace them. 

In spite the best of intentions, it's easy to get sidetracked when it comes to making nutritious choices for kids. Any parent who's ever had kids in tow while grocery shopping, knows how relentless they can be when they see their favorite unhealthy food item on the store shelf! As a mom I get it. As a registered dietitian, I'd like to help you with this challenging task. Here are my recommendations for more nutritious options you can offer instead that shouldn't be met with too much complaining from your kids. 

Not all yogurts are created equal

Not all yogurts are created equal
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Kid-friendly Yogurt

Yogurt is a fantastic food choice for children, however, too much added sugar can significantly corrupt the nutritional value. “Usually, the moment I see a yogurt marketed towards kids, I know it’s not the best option,” says Erin Corrigan, MS, RDN, CSP Registered Dietitian and Clinical Nutrition Manager at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami. “Yogurt marketed towards children is always flavored with added sugars and take a naturally occurring flavor and make it unnatural and candy-like.” Think of trix flavor or even sour patch. “Kids don’t learn to like and appreciate the natural tangy flavor of yogurt,” says Corrigan.

Healthy Swap: Plain Greek Yogurt or yogurt flavored with less than 7-10g of sugar per serving. Yogurt contains naturally occurring sugar in the form of lactose. An 8 oz serving will usually contain about 12g of sugar, so anything more means it’s probably added.
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