10 Diabetes-Friendly Desserts For Children

For children with diabetes, the need to control blood sugar levels can complicate their relationship with sweets. This can lead to disappointment, feelings of deprivation and, as a consequence, can cause overindulgence in sweet things when parents aren’t looking.

Fortunately, there’s a way for children with diabetes to still enjoy sweet treats healthily by making thoughtful decisions and small substitutions. 

Let’s take a look at 10 diabetic-friendly desserts that can be both enjoyable for kids and meet their dietary needs.

Children With T1D Can Still Have Dessert

Desserts can be suitable for kids with type 1 diabetes if certain recipe and ingredient modifications are made. Traditional desserts can contain high sugar and carbs, but some adjustments can help them enjoy dessert in moderation while effectively controlling their condition.

  1. Select Low-Glycemic items

To manage blood sugar levels, opt for low glycemic items like monk fruit, erythritol, or stevia, and whole fruits like citrus, apples, and berries, which offer natural sugars and fiber. Note that artificial sweeteners, though they may not affect blood glucose level directly, should still be used lightly and in moderation.

  1. Use Ingredients High in Fiber and Whole Grains

Add high-fiber foods and whole grains to boost nutritional content and reduce the absorption of sugar. As an illustration: In baking recipes, use whole wheat flour instead of refined white flour.

For an added fiber boost, incorporate flax seeds, chia seeds, or oats into sweets.

  1. Include Sources of Protein and Healthy Fats

To maintain blood sugar levels and provide long-lasting energy, incorporate protein and healthy fats into desserts like Greek yogurt or avocado, along with nuts or seeds.

  1. Focus on Homemade Desserts

To better manage ingredients and sugar levels, make desserts at home whenever feasible. Try baking an apple pie, grilling pineapple, or making your own ice cream with yogurt or coconut milk sweetened with natural sweeteners. Store-bought desserts almost always have way too much sugar than most people need or want.

  1. Portion Control

Keep an eye on serving sizes to control the intake of carbohydrates and avoid blood sugar surges. To prevent overindulging, think about using smaller dessert dishes or bowls to regulate portion sizes and dividing desserts ahead of time into smaller servings.

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10 Desserts For Children With T1D

1. Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Ingredients

  • Avocados – 2 ripe 
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – 1/4 cup
  • Almond milk (unsweetened) – 1/4  cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Sugar-free sweetener (such as stevia or erythritol), to taste 
  • Optional toppings: sliced almonds, berries, or unsweetened coconut flakes

Preparation

  1. Cut avocados, remove flesh, and blend with chocolate powder, almond milk, vanilla extract, and sugar-free sweetener.
  2. Blend in a mixer until smooth.
  3. Taste and adjust sweetness and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Top with toppings like almonds, berries, or coconut flakes before serving.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories:  150 calories
  • Total Fat: 12g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein:  3g

2. Frozen Yogurt Bark  

Ingredients

  • Plain Greek yogurt (unsweetened) – 2 cups
  • Sugar-free sweetener (such as stevia or erythritol), to taste 
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
  • Mixed nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans), chopped – 1/4 cup
  • Sugar-free chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips (at least 70% cocoa), chopped – 1/4 cup
  • Optional toppings: unsweetened coconut flakes, sliced berries, or seeds (such as chia seeds or flaxseeds)

Preparation 

  1. Mix vanilla extract, sugar-free sweetener, and Greek yogurt.
  2. Spread on a baking sheet and top with chocolate chips, nuts, and toppings. Freeze for two to three hours, then cut into pieces and serve.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 90 calories
  • Total Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 5 g

3. Coconut Flour Pancakes 

Ingredients

  • Coconut flour – 1/4 cup
  • Eggs – 2
  • Unsweetened almond milk – 1/4 cup
  • Melted coconut oil – 1 tbsp
  • Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
  • Pinch of salt

Preparation 

  1. Blend the coconut flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Beat the eggs in another bowl. Mix in the vanilla extract, melted coconut oil, and almond milk.
  3. Transfer the liquid components into the bowl containing the dry components and mix
  4. Allow the batter to sit.
  5. Cook pancakes in a nonstick skillet for 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information 

  • Calories: 100 calories
  • Total Fat: 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 4 g

4. Apple Nachos  

Ingredients

  • Apples, thinly sliced – 2 
  • Peanut butter or almond butter (unsweetened) – 2 tbsp
  • Sugar-free caramel sauce – 2 tbsp 
  • Chopped nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans) – 2 tbsp 
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut – 2 tbsp 
  • Sugar-free chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips, chopped – 1 tbsp
  • Cinnamon, for sprinkling 

Preparation 

  1. Cut the apples into slices, then place the slices on a dish in a single layer. Warm the peanut butter and distribute it and the caramel sauce evenly over the apple slices.
  2. Arrange the apple slices with a mixture of chopped nuts, chopped sugar-free chocolate chips, and unsweetened shredded coconut. 
  3. For extra taste, sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.
  4. Serve the apple nachos right away.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 150 calories
  • Total Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 15 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 5 g

5. Low-Carb Cheesecake Bites

Ingredients

  • Cream cheese, softened – 1 cup
  • Greek yogurt (unsweetened) – 1/4 cup
  • Sugar-free sweetener (such as stevia or erythritol) – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Eggs – 2 
  • Almond flour – 1/4 cup

Preparation

  1. Create a creamy cheesecake by beating cream cheese, vanilla extract, sugar-free sweetener, and Greek yogurt.
  2. Beat eggs and almond flour together.
  3. Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin trays and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Allow the bites to cool for ten minutes before serving.
  5. These low-carb cheesecake bites are best served cold. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 120 calories
  • Total Fat: 11 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g

6. Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients

  • Unsweetened shredded coconut – 2 cups
  • Almond flour – 1/2 cup
  • Sugar-free sweetener (such as stevia or erythritol) – 1/4 cup
  • Egg whites – 2
  • Melted coconut oil – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Pinch of salt

Preparation

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine almond flour, sugar-free sweetener, melted coconut oil, vanilla essence, shredded unsweetened coconut, and salt. 
  2. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the coconut mixture. Form into mounds and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. 
  3. Serve at room temperature for a delightful treat.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 120 calories
  • Total Fat: 11 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 3 g

7. Avocado Lime Popsicles

Ingredients

  • Avocados – 2 Ripe
  • Unsweetened coconut milk (or any milk of your choice) – 1 /2 cup
  • Zest and juice of lime – 2 tbsp
  • Sugar-free sweetener (such as stevia or erythritol) – 1 tbsp

Preparation

  1. Remove the pits from the avocados, cut them in half, and scoop out the flesh into a food processor or blender.
  2. For a smooth and creamy consistency, add the unsweetened coconut milk, lime zest, lime juice, and sugar-free sweetener to a blender.
  3. Taste and adjust the sweetness to your desired level.
  4. Fill popsicle molds with the mixture, then freeze until completely solid.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 120 calories
  • Total Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 3 g

8. Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients

  • Black beans, drained and rinsed – 1 Can
  • Eggs – 3
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – 1/4 cup
  • Sugar-free sweetener (such as stevia or erythritol) – 1/2 cup
  • Melted coconut oil or unsweetened applesauce – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Pinch of salt

Preparation

  1. Blend black beans, eggs, cocoa powder, sugar-free sweetener, coconut oil, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt in a food processor.
  2. Adjust sweetness after tasting.
  3. Pour batter into a baking pan, top with nuts or chocolate chips, bake for 20-30 minutes, cut into squares, and serve.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 120 calories
  • Total Fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein:4 g

9. Peanut Butter Banana Sushi Rolls

Ingredients

  • Banana – 1 Ripe
  • Natural peanut butter (unsweetened) – 2 tbsp
  • Whole grain tortillas or low-carb tortillas – 2
  • Optional: sugar-free chocolate chips or chopped nuts for topping

Preparation

  1. Spread peanut butter on one side of each tortilla, then roll it up to enclose the banana.
  2. Repeat with the second tortilla.
  3. Cut into sushi-sized pieces with a sharp knife.
  4. Top with chopped almonds or sugar-free chocolate chips for added flavor and texture and serve

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 200 calories
  • Total Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 8 g

10. Vanilla Almond Chia Seed Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • Unsweetened almond milk – 2 cups
  • Chia seeds – 1/4 cup
  • Sugar substitute – 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Preparation

  1. Combine the almond milk, chia seeds, sugar substitute, and vanilla extract in a mixing dish.
  2. To give the chia seeds time to thicken, let the mixture sit for approximately ten minutes.
  3. Pour the ingredients into an ice cream maker or a food processor and process as directed.
  4. For a firmer texture, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze, or serve immediately as a soft serve.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 130 calories
  • Total Fat: 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 6g

Final Thoughts

Nutrition varies from PWD to PWD and the way you manage your child’s diet is up to you and your family.

Just know that if you wish to introduce a little sweetness into that diet, you can do so in a safe way as long as you incorporate healthy ingredients, sugar replacements, and implement thoughtful portion control.

But, of course, like with anything else, moderation is key, and too many sweet treats even if made in this healthier way may not be advised. You might want to check with your child’s doctor or nutritionist to find out exactly what you can incorporate into their diet.

And if you need a little help managing the intake of new foods like desserts, you can always use Gluroo. 

Gluroo is a free diabetes management app that, aside from many other features, lets you log meals and see the impact that those meals have on your child’s BGL. And if you’re uncertain about a certain food item, you can access your child’s historical data to see if they’ve ever tried that food and what their body’s response was to it. 

You can download Gluroo for free below on both iOS and Android.

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