This study of 168 diabetic children from Tyneside and Teeside aimed to record what the children actually ate and to compare this with both their prescribed diet and current recommendations. The amounts of energy consumed were similar to those expected of non-diabetic children, but the components of the diabetic children's diets were different, consisting of more fat and fibre, but less sugars and carbohydrates. They ate more carbohydrate than prescribed but less than current recommendations as there was a shortfall between the amount prescribed and that suggested in the recommendations. Diabetic control was related to the amount of fibre consumed and to compliance with the prescribed diet, but not to the proportion of energy taken as carbohydrate. The insulin dose was slightly lower in those children eating more fibre.