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Carbohydrate Counting

Linda St. Clair, MS, RD, LD, CDE. Office of Child Nutrition. WV Department of Education. I have diabetes. What should I eat?. Balance your plate. Exchange Plan. Carbohydrate counting. Choose . MyPlate.

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Carbohydrate Counting

Presentation on theme: "Carbohydrate Counting"— Presentation transcript:


Carbohydrate Counting

Linda St. Clair, MS, RD, LD, CDEOffice of Child NutritionWV Department of EducationSlide2

I have diabetes. What should I eat?

Balance your plate

Exchange Plan

Carbohydrate countingSlide3

Choose MyPlate


Simple to use




Uses estimates

Combination foods are difficultSlide4

Exchange Lists

Controls all aspects of diet

Requires a list of foods and their portion size

Combination/packaged foods are difficultSlide5

Carbohydrate Counting

Focuses on the main nutrient that raises blood sugar

No “good/bad” foods

Uses readily available information from food labels or lists

Most accurate of all methodsSlide6

No Matter Which Plan is Chosen…

Keep food intake consistent from day to dayChoose whole grains half the timeChoose whole fruits and vegetables most of the time

Choose lean proteins

Choose low-fat dairy products

Limit fats, salt and sugarsLimit sugary beverages; choose waterSlide7

Know which foods contain carbohydrate

Grains (breads, crackers, rice, hot and cold cereals, pasta, tortillasStarchy vegetables (potatoes, peas, corn, winter squash, legumes/beans

Fruits and juices

Milk and yogurt

Sweets and dessertsSlide8

Keys to accurately estimating carbs

RecordkeepingPortion size

Using food labels correctly

Allowing for added carbohydratesSlide9

How to keep a food diary

Write down everythingRecording foods before they are eaten is bestIf not, as soon as possible (not at the end of the day)

Be honest

Use the information to help make better choices the next timeSlide10


to keeping a food diary


too much time

Too difficultForgetNot convenientDon’t know the carb content

Ignorance is blissSlide11

Estimating Portion Sizes

Make it easy to visualizeUse measuring cups/spoons correctlyUse common items as referencesSlide12

Using food labels

Serving Size

Total CarbohydratesSlide13

Added Carbohydrates

Chicken breast, batter dipped = 13 gm carb

Chicken breast, roasted with no breading = 0



Resources for Accurate Carbohydrate Counting

Food labels Computerized nutrient analysis



Nutrient AnalysisSlide16

Free ResourcesSlide17

Great websites

Calorie King – www.calorieking.com

The USDA National Nutrient Database -




/USDA Supertracker





Special Dietary Needs

“Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs in the School Nutrition Programs”


Guidance for School Food Service


Diabetes Teams at School

Student with diabetesParents of student with diabetesSchool Nurse

Cafeteria Manager

Foodservice Director


Who Does What?

Every situation is differentTeam approach is always bestUse every resource at your disposal

REMEMBER – it’s about the student’s needs!Slide21


Linda St. Clair, MS, RD, LD, CDElsstclai@access.k12.wv.us304-558-3396