Type 1 Diabetes and Food: What School Staff Should Know

Type 1 diabetes and food: What school staff
should know When a student has type 1 diabetes, people
often ask what they can and can’t eat. Unless a student has allergies or food intolerances,
no foods are off limits. But having diabetes does involve more
planning for snacks and mealtimes, as well as for special events involving food. Remember that the carbohydrates in food raise
blood sugar, and insulin lowers it. Students with diabetes need to know how many
carbohydrates are in the food they are eating to help them follow their meal plan or to
determine how much insulin they need. If a student needs insulin during the school
day, detailed instructions for lunch and snacks will be in their Individual Care Plan. If the student received their insulin
for the school day at home, they must eat their lunch and snacks on time. Missing or delaying food could
cause low blood sugar. Because insulin doses are related to the
amount of food a student will be eating, it’s important to ensure they have enough
time to finish lunch and snacks. Younger children may need more supervision. Students with diabetes should not share or
substitute food during the school day. Does that mean they can never have a
treat at school? Absolutely not! Everyone wants to feel included, and with
a bit of planning, students with diabetes can—and should—be included in special
events with food, such as birthday celebrations or Halloween. Let parents know at least a day in advance
so that they can adjust the student’s meal plan or insulin, or make another plan. Understanding how food affects blood sugar,
and the importance of planning ahead, can help keep kids with type 1 diabetes
safe at school!

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