Planning ahead can help you to make healthier choices for your meals and snacks.

Try these meal planning tips:

  • Make a list of meals for the week.
    • Make sure to include all the different food groups.
    • Have fruit for dessert instead of something with added sugars.
  • Make a grocery list based on these meals and what you already have.
  • Do not go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
  • Shop the outside of the store and limit what you buy in the aisles.
    • Look for canned vegetables with “no added salt.”
    • Look for canned fruit with “no sugar added” or “in their own juice.”
    • Do not buy chips, sweets, and sweetened drinks.
  • When you get home, clean and cut up fruits and vegetables for easy snacks.
  • Store healthy snacks at eye level in the pantry and fridge.

Healthy meal time

Here are some tips for healthy and successful mealtime.

  • Eat dinner together as a family at the dinner table.
  • Turn off distractions, such as TV, cell phone, and tablet.
  • Use 10-inch plates instead of 12-inch ones to help with portion control.
  • Do not eat second helpings.
  • Take a sip of your drink between every few bites to slow down your eating.
  • Limit meals to 30 minutes.

Sample meal plan

A healthy meal plan for a 10-year-old child with type 1 diabetes has 55 to 60 grams of carbohydrate for meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

Children 7 years or older should eat 15 grams carbohydrate for afternoon and bedtime snacks.

Children 1 to 6 years old should eat 10 grams of carbohydrate for morning, afternoon, and bedtime snacks.

Use this example meal plan


  • Egg sandwich (whole wheat English muffin and 1 egg)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup low fat milk


  • Turkey sandwich (2 slices whole wheat bread, 3 ounces of turkey, 1 tablespoon mustard)
  • 1 cup baby carrots with 1 tablespoon ranch
  • 10 small grapes
  • 1 cup low fat milk

Afternoon snack

  • 6 whole wheat crackers
  • 1 ounce string cheese


  • 3 ounces chicken breast
  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 cup green beans
  • 1 cup low fat milk

Bedtime snack

  • 6 ounces light yogurt