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November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Eating at Restaurants When You Have Diabetes

People with diabetes can pretty much eat the same foods as their friends and family. This includes kids with diabetes as well. They just have to keep track of what they eat and enjoy some foods in moderation. If you are a parent and are concerned about your child who is a diabetic eating out, your best bets are restaurants that offer many options.

Even fast-food places have healthy choices on their menus. Whenever possible, look for nutritional facts on the meal you plan to order like:

  • Calories;
  • Proteins;
  • Carbohydrates; and
  • Fat content.

This information is available in many chain restaurants (you may need to ask for it) or review it online. If you can order a meal that includes a good balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, you're doing okay. However, if you find that a restaurant doesn't offer many vegetable choices or that they only serve fried food that's covered in cheese, look for a place with more options.

When it's time to order, follow the same rules for food content and portion sizes that you follow at home. These tips can help:

  • Change and rearrange;
  • Watch the sides;
  • Pick your own portion;
  • Master menu lingo;
  • Split with a friend; and
  • Go light on buns and crusts.

The same tips apply to eating at your school cafeteria. To be a healthy eater at school, make sure you pick a variety of healthy foods and stop to think about when you're getting full. When you go out to eat, bring the things you take with you everywhere, like testing supplies, snacks and medicines. A printed quick-reference guide to food content and portions or a nutrition app or website, can make choosing healthy foods a little easier. If you use things like artificial sweeteners or fat-free spreads, bring them along too.

If you take insulin, there's no need to stay home if you have to eat later than usual. In most cases you can just make a few simple adjustments to your medicine schedule.

If you have questions about how to make eating out even easier, always consult with your doctor or dietitian.

To access the full article on eating out with diabetes, click here.