8 yr old daughter recently diagnosed with Type 1-Can you help?

I am brand spankin new to this group and I am really hoping to get some help, tips and tricks.

Last Friday, Dec. 14th I had to get my daughter to the hospital because of a ketone test administered at the Dr's office. Come to find out, her blood sugar was 786!! Very frightening. It has been a very long, overwhelming week for us. Were getting pretty much everything down pat but are struggling with food.

She has ALWAYS been a very picky eater. The only veggie she will eat is grape tomatos! UGGA MUGGA!! Her main food staples have always been sandwiches, spaghetti o's fries and nuggets :(  I need some help and advice on how we can get her to try new foods without her breaking down into one of her diva fits! I am having a very diffcult time trying to find low carb foods that don't have a ton of carolies. The last thing I want is for her to pack on the pounds. We are also struggling with "free" snacks in between meals. Right now she eats cheese sticks (HIGH calories) and sugar free jello.

I welcome all help and advice on this and look forward to meeting other parents going through the same thing :)


Hi, cgantman-

Sounds like you are doing a great job managing your daughter's diabetes, which will help instill in her some good habits she will need when she has to manage the disease on her own.

There are a good handful of books out there on how to disguise vegetables in everyday food, such as these:  www.thesneakychef.com/the_sneaky_chef_books.php       www.amazon.com/.../0954821920

Will she eat something like the Laughing Cow cheese wedges instead of the fried cheese? Light fruit yogurt?  Guacamole? Turkey rolled up in a tortilla?

Good luck to you - I know the folks here on the board will have plenty of ideas to offer :)

Cheryl Z

First, I'm really sorry about your daughter's diabetes.  I'm also glad you found TypeOneNation.  It's a great resource.

It makes it easier to dose insulin if you eat low carb, but isn't required.  Since people with diabetes are more likely to have eating disorders, it's important for your daughter to eat as normally as possible.  No food should be off limits and try your best not to make a big deal about food.

About 20 years ago doctors stopped recommending really strict "diabetic diets" and instead recommended  patients count the carbohyrates they ate and adjust their insulin.  Did your doctor recommend a carbohydrate factor?  It's the number of carbs covered by 1unit of insulin.  It varies for each person, so you need a doctor or diabetes educator to help you find the right ratio.  

There are carb counting apps for smart phones.  A great book that has the counts is the "Calorie King Guide to Calories, Fats & Carbohydrates."  It's a small book available at Walmart or most bookstores for around $10.  

Now that your daughter is taking insulin she's probably going to gain a little weight.  It's because a lot of the calories she used to eat weren't absorbed by her body and were instead urinated out.  So now with the injected insulin her body is able to use those calories from the food she eats.  But having diabetes doesn't make you fat.

There are a couple of books that are great to give you an overview of diabetes:  Riva Greenberg's "50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life; And the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It"  and also Gary Scheiner's "Think Like a Pancreas."  

If possible, seek out a pediatric endocrinologist or other diabetes specialist for your daughter.  I also think diabetes summer camp is the best thing for a kid.  Your daughter will meet other people who understand what it's like to live with diabetes and it also gives you a break from being the caretaker.

I've had diabetes since I was 4 and will be 40 soon.  I am married and have a healthy son, busy job, and a pretty average life.  Your daughter is going to live a good life too.

Take care.  -Jenna

I agree with what Jenna said - your daughter needs to eat.  My family is very far from the low carb bandwagon.  I, personally, have found that does not bring good health - just controls weight.  My son is the healthiest when he eats a low -fat, high good carb diet.  He eats all he wants (fruit, veggies, whole-grains) and is almost underweight.  There are many varying opinions out there, like on any diet, but I think your daughter just needs to eat.  Once you are more settled you may want to check out Neil Barnard's books.  

My daughter was 5 when she developed type 1 and was also a picky eater. She is now 9 and learned quickly not to cheat and to make good choices. Your daughter will recognize that she doesn't feel good when her sugars are out of whack. The key is not to restrict, but to guide.  Proper insulin coverage is key and try to pick fruits with a low glycemic index. Include her in meal preparation and shopping, it will give her a sense of control.  Also try to balance meals, carbs are ok but try to have protein and fat included.

Good luck!  You will be amazed how quickly she will adapt. This is going to be harder on you but within 6 months you will have a new normal and be fine:-)

Thanks to all of you! We are a little more than a week in and she seems to be doing very well! We have had to go to the store a few times this week and she is actually having fun finding stuff to eat :) Found a great cookie recipe for her too (just had to add a little bit more extract for flavor). Since this past Tuesday, she has been testing her own blood sugar and is helping calculate her numbers! I always knew she was a strong girl but this past week, she has really grown up!