By the title, I'm sure you can guess on which side of the fence I stand!
Our daughter, C, was diagnosed when she was just 22 months old. Whether or not she would eat carbohydrates was not a question for us. The question, rather, was how to count the carbs and bolus accordingly.
In the hospital upon diagnosis, the cafeteria staff definitely did not know how to feed a toddler with type 1 diabetes. When meal time came, and a nice young candy-striper brought in C's dinner, I couldn't even imagine even myself eating what was on that tray. Here's what I remember: some kind of unidentifiable meat smothered in gravy, a mound of mushy vegetables, hot water for tea, a lemon slice and an enormous amount of sugar-free lemon Jell-o. Yes. This was what they offered my baby to eat. The next meal looked way too similar to this. And, the next. And the next. Finally I asked the nurse "Do you think they have a different flavor of jello other than lemon?" It was ridiculous.
She was down in her weight as it was. And there's only so much sugar-free lemon Jell-o a person (at any age) can swallow. We began sneeking in food that a toddler might actually eat: mac 'n cheese, fish crackers, cheese. It was so great to finally see her weight increase. She had been, literally, starving!
We don't place restrictions on what she can and can not eat. The exceptions are: regular fruit juice, regular soda, strictly sugar-y candy, regular popsicles and the like. Those items are reserved solely for treating lows. And, of course, there are the times when an extremely high blood glucose number dictates whether she can have a snack now or later. It's a constant balancing act.
Some foods are just more difficult to count...but we work hard at it. We have our problem foods (pizza, pasta and anything with corn in it) but we don't deny her these things. We may not hit the mark each time, but we correct and move on with life. We want C to grow up with healthy eating habits and a great self image. We want her to enjoy food, to feel free in choosing what to eat. I guess you could say we want her to have her cake and eat it, too!
"No, thanks. I'll have the chocolate cake!"