Thursday, May 13, 2010


Day 4 of Diabetes Blog Week:  To carb or not to carb?...That is the question for the day.
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!

"Lemon Jell-o?"
"No, thanks.  I'll have the chocolate cake!"


  1. Corn spikes her - that's interesting. I wish we didn't have to find all the foods that cause problems through trial and error. It makes trying anything new a very anxiety-filled experience. We have also delayed eating because of a high, and I strongly, strongly dislike that. If it's not convenient though - like a party or the like - then I pull that superbolus so he can feast with everyone else.

  2. Lemon anything is nasty!!! LOL :)

    We were lucky when Tristan was diagnosed the hospital gave us a menu with the "exchange" value on them. We picked what Tristan would eat at each meal.

    The exchange value.... do people still use that???

  3. Lo, i'm scared of the super-bolus! of these days i will try though...

    Rachel, i remember being given a sliding scale (an actual cardboard thingy) to figure out the units and fractions of units to give insulin injections...and a little pamphlet with exchange values on them...i must still have it was like our diabetes Bible!

  4. It sounds like you have a good approach! It's smart not to put too many restrications on what C can and can't eat.


Hi! Thanks for commenting on our blog!