Can you imagine having a child–or being a child–with a chronic illness that required shots every day and measuring every morsel of food in order to keep your child or yourself healthy? For more than 200,000 kids in America who have diabetes, which is the fastest growing disease in the U.S., tracking blood sugar levels and the food they eat is a way of life. According to some predictions, one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2030, so many of us, our friends, and our family members will face this illness head-on.

Jakob Latham, 11, of North Springfield, Virginia was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year. He says he still enjoys food, but has to put a lot more thought into what he eats and when. “To enjoy my favorite foods, I take insulin to cover them or I exercise a lot so I can have them,” he says. “Like before swim team I am usually able to have extra foods with sugar so I don’t have a low when I’m exercising.”  But he says having diabetes isn’t all bad news: “At school I get to skip the line at lunch.” 

Cookbook author, nutritionist and food educator Robyn Webb’s life was touched by diabetes as a child. “My cousin was diagnosed when he was 9 and it inspired me to help him and other people with diabetes, as he was so young and vulnerable,” she says.  Webb has made it her mission to make sure children (and adults) do not need to endure boring and bland diets with the other challenges that come with controlling diabetes. She has written a number of cookbooks filled with healthy and flavorful recipes for people who have diabetes.

Webb’s 2007 cookbook “You CAN Eat That! Awesome Food for Kids with Diabetes” (which, sadly, is no longer in print, but see below how to win a copy), is filled with mouth-watering recipes like Firecracker Chicken, Crispy Parmesan Chips, and Light as a Feather Apple Fritters (see recipe below).   She hopes to give people with diabetes lots of ways to put the joy back into cooking and eating.

Nutrition per serving: Calories 117, Calories from fat 13, Total fat 1.5g, Saturated fat .5g, Cholesterol, 53 mg, Sodium 67 mg., Carbohydrate 23g, Dietary fiber 1g, Sugars 7g, Protein 4g.

For more information, check out this cool site for kids with diabetes from The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International: http://kids.jdrf.org/

To win a copy of “You CAN Eat That” by Robyn Webb, leave a comment below by Thursday, February 24thth at 11:59 p.m. PST telling us how your life has been touched by diabetes. On Friday, February 25th, we will pick a winner from the entries below using random.org. One entry per person, please. US mailing addresses only. Good luck! (And don’t forget to subscribe to Kitchen Explorers by email so you don’t miss any of our delicious recipes and fabulous giveaways.) 
CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER, LIV P., AS SELECTED BY RANDOM.ORG.

Recipe: Light-as-a-Feather Apple Fritters

  • Prep Time: 30 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 6 min(s)
  • Total Time: 36 min(s)
  • Servings: 8

A delicious dessert for kids with (or without!) diabetes.

Ingredients

    • 4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ tsp. baking powder
    • 2 Tbsp. Splenda (or sugar if your diet allows)
    • 2 large eggs, separated
    • ½ cup fat-free milk
    • Nonstick cooking spray (can use 1 Tbsp. butter or oil)
    • Sugar-free maple syrup (optional) (or powdered sugar if your diet allows)

Instructions

    • In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and Splenda. In a small mixing bowl, beat together the egg yolks and milk.  Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, then fold in the apples.
    • With an electric mixer in a medium-size mixing bowl beat the egg whites on high until they form stiff peaks. Carefully fold into the fritter mixture.
    • Coat a 12-inch nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray (or use 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil or butter) and heat over medium-high until a drop of fritter batter sizzles immediately. Drop tablespoonfuls of the batter 2 inches apart and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the fritters to a warm platter and continue with the remaining batter.
    • Serve warm with sugar-free maple syrup, if desired, or powdered sugar.

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  • MichelleS.

    Last year, I lost my uncle at age 52 to diabetes. It is a problem that effects much of my family.

  • Liv P

    My four year old little boy was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year. We’re very lucky and blessed to have him on an insulin pump which means that we can avoid the rigors of multiple shots through the day. It’s vey sad to read the statistics on how many little children are being affected by diabetes. Thank you for the wonderful recipe and for raising awareness!

  • Andrea Koch

    My niece, Addie, was diagnosed at 7 years old. She is brave and works hard to keep her body fit and healthy, yet every day remains a struggle. Last year she got blood poisoning through a cut on her foot, landing her in the hospital for days. 1 year ago her big brother Bryce, was also diagnosed. He has taken it much harder and is struggling to change his lifestyle. Their mother dedicates each day to creating a healthy life for them. This is 24/7 job for a lifetime.

  • Rosamond

    Many members of my family have type 1 and 2 diabetes, including my uncle who died from compications of type 1. He did not tend to his health as well as you would hope. My father-in-law suffers from type 2 and has difficulty managing it w/ the added pressures of caring for his wife who has alzheimers. I enjoy making him sweets when i find recipes like this one. It makes his day a little brighter!

  • http://www.ststephenmethodist.org Mary Spradlin

    I was shocked when two children in our small congregation were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the past two years. We are all now more aware of this disease and how drastically it can affect the lives of children and their families. The kids are doing great, and we all think twice at snack time, now.

  • Mandi

    My best girlfriend’s daughter was diagnosed last week with Type 1 diabetes at nine years old. In one week she has travelled over 500 miles to the local regional hospital and then to Denver’s juvenile diabetes clinic only to come home with the flu and a fever. Now that she’s feeling better, like any red blooded nine year old, she’s starting to get angry and resentful of how her life has changed but still is a delightfully sweet girl. I would love to win this book as a gift for her.

  • KJS

    I have had friends with Type 1, but my life has been most touched by my brother and parents developing Type 2. It was a wake-up call for all of us, and we all began paying more attention to our food and exercise choices. I’m happy to say that all three lost enough weight (and have maintained the loss) to no longer require shots or monitoring. Every day is a struggle against temptation, tho!

  • Patti

    February 11th we found out my 7 year old daughter has Type 1 diabetes. It has been a major adjustment and she is always coming to me to ask what she can or can’t eat. I have been searching the internet for recipes that fit into her diet but many of the recipes I do find aren’t kid friendly(let’s face it alot of them aren’t even mom friendly). I would love a copy of this cookbook seeing as it is aimed to kids. This would really help us on our new lifestyle changes.
    Thanks!

  • Amy Edwards

    My husband and I were floored when our 20-month-old was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It has been a roller coaster ride for the past 2 1/2 years, but she is adjusting well. We now participate in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes and raise money for research for a cure.

  • http://www.lgdesigns.us LaShelle

    I have had type 1 diabetes since I was 16 months old. I’ve been told there are so many things I can’t or shouldn’t do because I’m diabetic. Guess what! I’ve done nearly all of them. :) Nothing that truthfully put myself in danger. I did them by being healthy and taking control of my diabetes. The biggest and best accomplishment? I just had a beautiful, healthy baby girl!

  • Alice Currah

    This recipe looks awesome!

  • Stephanie S.

    My younger brother was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was eight years old. That was 30 years ago. He’s now a father of two, and overall, he’s in good health. But, diabetes is not an easy condition to manage. Unless you have a close family member with diabetes, it’s truly difficult to understand the daily struggles involved in managing food intake, blood sugar, and exercise. This condition affects the whole family.

  • http://www.raisingcolorado.com ZW

    My daughter was diagnosed last month five days before her tenth birthday. She is taking it all in stride and is doing beautifully. A cookbook that lists the carb information would be so helpful, as most of them do not have the dietary exchange for each recipe!

  • http://mommalibby.weebly.com Libby

    My grandpa passed away when I was 4 from diabetes, and my sister-in-law was diagnosed with type 2 about two years ago and has lost 130 pounds since. I think my husband and I are very aware of our family histories with diabetes and strive to raise our family in a healthy way.

  • Marianela Aponte

    I am a diabetic and last Dec I have had diabetes for 20 yrs. Now as a mother at 32 and still work hard to manage my diabetes. I also babysitt a 3 yr old that was diagnosed with diabetes last year. This receipe is going to be great for us. Thank you.

  • Anne

    Tried this recipe and was a hit with adults & kids. My dad has diabetes which he can control with diet but it’s hard for him to travel.