Diabetes-Friendly Snacks for Kids!

“Mommm and Daaaad – I’m starving!” is a line that the parents here at NikoBar hear all the time. Being ready with snacks is hard no matter who your kids are. But, if you have kids with diabetes, this can be even harder. That’s why we at NikoBar have committed ourselves to making bars that are a great and healthy snack for every kid, including those with Type I or Type II diabetes.  

The reason we do this is because experts broadly agree that healthy eating with diabetes is, well, just plain healthy. In fact, according to the highly-respected Mayo Clinic, a so-called “diabetes diet” is actually “the best eating plan for most everyone.” 

With that in mind, we created NikoBars so they’d be an all-in snack to meet the New York Times Health Guide’s dietary guidelines for overall healthy eating for those with diabetes. In addition to that, all of our recipes are informed by the dietary advice that comes from the extensive research done by both the Joslin Diabetes Center and the National Diabetes Association.  (SOURCE: http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/diabetes/general-dietary-guidelines.html 

Of course, no diet is ‘one size fits all.’ So, please do also consult your doctor in order to ensure that this style of eating is right for you and your kids.)

Here’s how the bars we make meet the guidelines to perfection:

  • Carbohydrates should provide 45 - 65% of calories. At NikoBar, our bars all boast roughly 50 percent carbs – exactly on target for these guidelines. What’s more, the type of carbs in our bars are exactly what is recommended: lots of fiber and not too much sugar! Our Cherry Chocolate Chip bars, for example, have a whopping 8 grams of fiber, and just 5 grams of total sugar.  
  • Fats should provide 25 - 35% of calories. Right on target, NikoBars are all comprised of roughly 30 percent fat. Better still, they’re high in monounsaturated fats from real food ingredients like peanuts and almonds. Following health guidelines precisely, our bars are always completely free of all unhealthy trans fats.
  • Protein should provide 12 - 20% of calories. NikoBars all derive roughly 20 percent of their total calories from protein, and this protein is totally vegan! That tallies perfectly with “diabetic diet” advice, which urges high protein from sources that don’t include too many saturated fats or red meats.
All of that being said, the best food in the world is only going to be effective at keeping kids with diabetes healthy if they are happy to eat it. That’s why we’ve also ensured that NikoBars are always taste-tested by kids, and absolutely delicious.

In addition to offering great tasting healthy snacks, another excellent way to get kids ‘on board’ with healthy lifestyle choices while diabetic is to sit down with them and make a list of “How to be Healthy” together. This process gives kids a feeling of ownership over their choices. Here are some tips you might like to suggest including on a list like this:
  • Eat foods that are high in fiber, such as fruit and vegetables (and NikoBars!)
  • Eat foods low in saturated and trans fats such as lean meat, chicken without the skin, and vegan proteins (like brown rice protein and pea protein).
  • Eat baked, roasted or raw foods instead of fried foods.
  • Eat foods that are low in salt. Avoid adding salt to your foods.
  • Drink water instead of drinks that are high in sugar – avoid both soda and fruit juice.
  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday! Walk, play soccer, jump rope, play hopscotch, go on a local adventure hike.
  • Cook together.
Armed with this list, the next time your child says, “I’m staaaarving!!!” you’ll both know what to reach for together!