Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Foods in schools: Children with diabetes can make wise meal choices

Authors
item Cullen, Karen -
item Constable, Kristen -
item Konarik, Melanie -

Submitted to: Diabetes Spectrum
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2009
Publication Date: July 1, 2009
Citation: Cullen, K.W., Constable, K.R., Konarik, M. 2009. Foods in schools: Children with diabetes can make wise meal choices. Diabetes Spectrum. 22(3):183-187.

Interpretive Summary: This paper explains modern school food environments and how children with diabetes can eat school foods. National School Lunch Program meals usually consist of an entree, two servings of fruits or vegetables, a grain product, and 8 oz of milk. Lower-fat milk varieties (2%, 1%, and non-fat) are available. School districts are encouraged to serve whole grains and to serve fresh fruit and vegetables in addition to canned and frozen products. Students only have to take a certain number of items for the meal to count as a reimbursable meal. Many school menus offer a choice of items in each category. The variety of foods on these menus should provide ample opportunity for children with diabetes to make appropriate choices that meet their breakfast and lunch needs. Many districts use computer-based nutrient analysis programs that provide the estimated nutrient content of menu items. This information, including the carbohydrate content per serving of each menu item, is often available. Caregivers may use these carbohydrate values to help their child or adolescent plan breakfast and lunch choices. School nurses and school food service professionals generally welcome communication with families. The school goal is to provide healthy food selections for all students. Armed with the knowledge of foods available at schools, parents, caregivers, and children with diabetes should be able to plan healthful menus. Children with diabetes can enjoy meals prepared at school, in the company of their peers.

Technical Abstract: Students, parents, and school staff often believe there are no healthful foods available in schools for children with diabetes. This paper explains modern school food environments and how children with diabetes can eat school foods. National School Lunch Program meals usually consist of an entree, two servings of fruits or vegetables, a grain product, and 8 oz of milk. Lower-fat milk varieties (2%, 1%, and non-fat) are available. School districts are encouraged to serve whole grains and to serve fresh fruit and vegetables in addition to canned and frozen products. Students only have to take a certain number of items for the meal to count as a reimbursable meal. Many school menus offer a choice of items in each category. The variety of foods on these menus should provide ample opportunity for children with diabetes to make appropriate choices that meet their breakfast and lunch needs. Many districts use computer-based nutrient analysis programs that provide the estimated nutrient content of menu items. This information, including the carbohydrate content per serving of each menu item, is often available. Caregivers may use these carbohydrate values to help their child or adolescent plan breakfast and lunch choices. School nurses and school food service professionals generally welcome communication with families. The school goal is to provide healthy food selections for all students. Armed with the knowledge of foods available at schools, parents, caregivers, and children with diabetes should be able to plan healthful menus. Children with diabetes can enjoy meals prepared at school, in the company of their peers.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page