Hello, My grandson is Type 1 diabetic. It's very hard to get fruit into his diet, as there is so much sugar. Do you have any good suggestions? Thank very much.

Fruit and vegetables are a very important part of a growing child’s diet. They contain many healthy antioxidants and vitamins/minerals that can help support the healthy growth of your grandson. I would recommend talking with your grandson (depending on his age) about the importance of eating a healthy diet while also monitoring and controlling his blood sugar level. Talk to him about which foods are going to cause his blood sugar to spike quickly and which foods will help keep sugar levels at a consistent medium.

Now, it is true, fruits do tend to contain more sugar than vegetables, but you can still incorporate them healthfully into his diet. The first thing I would recommend is to choose fruit with lower sugar contents (oranges, grapefruit, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries). These won’t impact his blood sugar levels as much as fruits higher in sugar (bananas, pineapple, apples, etc.) If your grandson likes lower sugar fruits, start to find fun ways of serving these as healthy snacks or additions to meals. For breakfast, take whole grain waffles and make a smiley face with oranges, raspberries and blueberries. Use the blender to create a healthy smoothie by mixing berries with Greek yogurt, ice, and milk. Place these fruits in fun colored Tupperware and pack it in his lunch. Also remember that when foods higher in sugar are paired with a protein, fiber, or fat source, they will not have as great of impact on his blood sugar levels. So you can incorporate most any fruit into his diet, just as long as you are serving something else on the side. You could take bananas and slice them on top of whole grain bread and top with peanut butter. Make a pineapple salsa but cubing red onion, pineapple, mango, and mint and place it on top of a boneless skinless chicken breast. Finally, if your grandson is really craving an apple, let him have it! But make sure it is not too big (it should be about the size of your fist), keep the skin on, and pair it with a few slices of cheese. Now that is a healthy snack!

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