Snacks are a requirement, not an option, for the diabetic child. Including regular snacks in the daily meal plan can help ward off hunger and temptation, prevent blood sugar drops and give the child a boost of energy. Carb-free snacks can be an extra occasional treat, or useful on days when the carbohydrate count begins to get a little high.
Meats are generally carb-free. A rolled-up slice of lunch meat is convenient to grab out of a fridge or lunch box for a protein-rich snack. A few peeled shrimp with a squirt of lemon juice can be a treat for kids who love seafood. For a snack on the go when refrigeration isn't possible, consider making or purchasing beef or turkey jerky without added sugars. Beware of processed meats, as they can contain some carbs -- always read labels.
Eggs are a filling snack for diabetics. Rich in protein and healthy fat, eggs are considered carb-free. Keep a small container of egg salad on hand, or carry a hard-boiled egg in a bag. Make miniature quiches with egg and a little shredded cheese for home or the lunchbox. Quiches can be eaten hot or cold, and if you make them crustless in muffin pans they are the perfect snack size. If your child can afford 1 or 2 grams of carbs, adding some roasted veggies to the quiche -- such as chopped zucchini or bell pepper -- can be a great way to add flavors and nutrition.
Raw vegetables are packed with nutrition and considered carb-free when under 5 grams of carbs per serving. They are an excellent way to satisfy the need for something crunchy. Cucumber, zucchini, avocado, asparagus, snow pea pods and celery are among the lower carb veggies. Try offering a low-carb ranch dressing as a dipping sauce if your child's daily carbohydrate count can afford it, though it's not necessary as raw veggies are flavorful enough on their own. Keep a bag of cleaned, peeled veggies on hand for snacking.
Occasionally, a sweet tooth may demand something a bit less savory for a snack. While it's not recommended that diabetics indulge too much on artificial sweeteners, the occasional sugar- and carb-free snack can be considered. Keep some sugar-free gelatin snack packs in the fridge -- some are packaged so you don't even have to refrigerate the gelatin. Kids may also enjoy a sugar-free juice or soda once in a while, or a refreshing sugar-free ice pop.
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