Filling up with fiber

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Although fiber is a carbohydrate, the digestive enzymes in the stomach and intestine can't break it down, so it can't be used for energy and isn't counted as calories. It plays an important role in the diet in its two forms:

1 Soluble fiber: Dissolves in water and forms a jelly-like material that blocks the digestive enzymes from getting to food, thereby slowing the uptake of carbohydrate from the intestine.

1 Insoluble fiber: Doesn't dissolve in water but can be processed so much when it's milled that it doesn't prevent digestive enzymes from getting to food. Insoluble fiber is the roughage in the intestine that prevents constipation and colon cancer.

It seems that people prefer "smooth" foods — foods with few whole grains that can give the food a chunky, grainy taste. But it's the grainy, unrefined foods that are full of fiber and much better for the health of your child with T1DM because they help keep the blood glucose at the right level. Foods with lots of fiber (especially insoluble fiber) include fruits and vegetables, multi-grain bread, and legumes like peas and beans.

Although the recommendation for adults is 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily, children can't comfortably consume that much. For children, the daily fiber intake should be their age plus 5, so a 5-year-old should have 10 grams of fiber a day.

Don't suddenly introduce a lot of fiber into your child's diet. Add it slowly (1 to 2 grams a week) so that he doesn't complain of a lot of gas. (The gas occurs when the carbohydrate in the fiber reaches the bacteria in the large intestine that break it down.)

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Confident Kids

Confident Kids

Although nobody gets a parenting manual or bible in the delivery room, it is our duty as parents to try to make our kids as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great kids than it is to try and fix problems caused by bad parenting, when our kids have become adults. Our children are all individuals - they are not our property but people in their own right.

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