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Aug. 19, 2005
Are You High?
Words I never thought I would say to a 7 year-old until I began volunteering at a diabetic summer for kids 6 summers ago. Being "high" takes on a whole new meaning here.
I am at Camp De Los Ninos this week volunteering as Camp Dietitian (aka Snack Lady) to 100 hungry campers (ages 6-14) who have type 1 diabetes and 50 staff members (who also need the nutrition 411).

Around here, a string cheese and peanut butter cracker shortage can cause riots and the arrival of sweet treats evokes images of Planet of the Apes. Hold on to your Twizzlers, folks, and don't you dare get caught by a lil'camper with a soda!

One of my assignments at camp is to coordinate all meals and snacks. They eat 6 times a day, mind you. My days roll from one eating event to another! I also turn campers into carbohydrate-counting geniuses through daily nutrition bingo games.

Note: There was a small setback earlier when the 50 chocolate bars went missing; but after a trip to one liquor store, a gas station, and a small market we recovered enough chocolate—phewww—a close one.

Yes, we teach them sugar is perfectly fine to eat when they know how to account for it! Most non-diabetics mistakenly believe that people with diabetes can never savor the sweets, but that is the #1 myth about type 1 diabetes.

Even after hundreds of  "Can I have another snack, pleeeeaaaassse?" and the weariness from 2:00AM blood sugar testing, I know I'll sign up for camp dietitian duty again. The perspective out here is unique to diabetes camp with many surprises and rewards.

Well, got to run. Campers are beating me to the marshmallows—not good—I need to portion them out first! Yikes!

Posted by:
Tara, the RD
Food Matters

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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