Holiday Cooking for Kids with Diabetes

Featuring Margarita Smotkin-Tangorra, D.O.
Pediatric Endocrinologist
K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital
Jersey Shore University Medical Center

We all know that food is the centerpiece of holiday gatherings, but for parents of children with diabetes, ensuring a safe and healthy holiday menu can create added stress during an already hectic time of year.

But with just a little additional planning, you can prepare a family friendly feast perfect for the holidays  - or any other night of the year.

Not sure where to start? These cooking tips for people with diabetes are a great resource for the fundamentals of healthy meal preparation.

Don't be afraid to get creative!

Maintain Discipline and Responsibility, 365 Days a Year

For parents of children with Type 1 diabetes, maintaining disciplined blood sugar monitoring is a 365-day-a-year responsibility in order to ensure everyday living remains healthy, happy, and free of worry.

Now, advancements in medical technology are opening the door for automated monitoring systems that could be game changers for millions of families living with Type 1 diabetes. Such devices aim to minimize capacity for human error and free up Type 1 diabetics accustomed to traditional self-monitoring methods.

While these devices are a valuable addition to the Type 1 diabetic’s toolkit, technology is no replacement for discipline, education and — for parents of children with diabetes — diligent supervision through adolescence.

“I see a lot of parents taking a backseat, thinking they are teaching their child to become independent by letting them monitor themselves. This is NOT what we want to see,” says Margarita Smotkin-Tangorra, D.O., “We want kids to be responsible, but this should never replace parental responsibility and supervision.”

Dr. Smotkin-Tangorra reminds us that even the most disciplined and responsible child is still a child — and so parents need to be parents.

“I see better control and monitoring habits in younger children than in teenagers; teens think they’re invincible,” she adds. “And whether they are 7 or 17, a child will always tell their parents what they want to hear, so be vigilant. Teach them well, but remember no amount of instruction or technology will ever replace proper parenting.”