He won't eat

To anyone else who has dealt with this:
I am the parent of a parent of a child with Type 1. We are having a very difficult time getting him to eat. He is too young to understand that he needs to eat. What does a child know about carbs and how it affects his BS, Nothing. All he knows is we are pushing food at him. He has started the rebellious time of his babyhood. Everything is no.
The advisors all say he has to have his meals, his snacks, his carbs counted, his blood checked and on and on. But they can’t help you if he won’t eat. Tonight we gave him different choices of all the foods he has liked since he was dignosed with limited success. Pasta has been his favorite but he’s getting bored with it and he refuses anything else. Distraction, bribery. pleading. teasing;here comes the airplane, open the hanger - no. Tried not paying attention to him and just left the food there, no help. We are at our wits end.

Assuming he either pumps or takes Lantus, there should be no need to force him to eat at specific times, because that’s the beauty of a pump, and Lantus has virtually no peaking action. At some point he will get hungry and eat something, so it won’t last very long. Then whatever he eats, give him a bolus of insulin for that much carb. You can wait until right after he’s eaten to give the insulin so you know how much he actually took in.

Unfortunately he doesn’t pump or take Lantus. He’s 21 months and although the doctor has talked about a pump in his future no plans have been set. As a matter of fact he hasn’t had his first appointment with his endo yet. He was diagnosed May 6 although it seems a lot longer. Thank you for answering so quickly. I know my daughter will ask about the pump when she sees the endo.
Thank you and good luck.

Hello @Wyattspoppie

Our T1 daughter is 2 1/2 now. She was diagnosed at 18months age. She takes injections, not a pump. We struggled the first few weeks/months after diagnosis where she would refuse almost all foods that she had previously loved. I think she started to associate food with the tests and injections and wouldn’t eat.

One thing to try might be giving injections right after a meal for a while. That takes the pressure off on getting him to eat everything right away at meal time. I’m not sure what adjustments you would make to the dosage if he didn’t eat all of it…call the Endo or the on call Endo to ask how to adjust.

Another thing to try is just to supplement with something…juice if he’ll drink it. Or, what we have had to do once or twice is to take a child’s liquid medicine syringe (like ones that come with children’s tylenol or something) and to draw up a syringe of honey (1tsp) and squirt it in her mouth…sometimes with help from my husband to hold down the hands. That way you know there is something in the system for the insulin to work on. In the meantime, honey won’t fill him up and eventually he will probably get hungry.
The honey in a syringe is also what I’ve used when she is very low and can’t understand that she needs to eat or drink something.
Good luck!

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I think we were so stressed out about the tests, injections, and carb counting just after diagnosis and that she sensed our stress and acted out on it at mealtimes. When we became more calm and more comfortable with the routines, I think that helped with her eating as well.

We were a mess right after our 20 month old was diagnosed-I was extremely stressed about what and when he was eating-and he was actually really good about the finger sticks and injections. The idea that a 20 month old will eat 3 meals a day and non carb snack in between felt like an impossible expectation. It’s 5 months out and we still struggle with meals/eating. We rarely all eat together and I’m often feeding him based on his bs, if he’s going to nap and will go low if he doesn’t eat, etc.
he is now on the pump and we almost always bolus after he eats, but have realized that regular milk really impacts his sugar, and if he’s a little low and refuses lunch, I will give him a cpl oz of milk before bed. We also resort to crappy food like ritz bitz cheese crackers if we are desperate to get some carbs in. I never thought I would be feeding my 2 yr old hot dogs for a snack and crackers for lunch, but try to go easy on yourself. Unless he is low, it’s ok for him to refuse some meals…very normal for a toddler. If he’s low and you are panicked, don’t feel badly about giving him a snack. Apple sauce squeezy packs, raisins, tortilla chips, etc.
my friend and t1 mama mentor has coached me thru the past few months and her 5 yr old (diagnosed at 18 mo) understands that he sometimes needs to eat if he doesn’t want to, can’t always have as much as he wants, and can recognize feeling “low”. These toddler years are hard b/c they have no concept of the disease. I’m sorry you are feeling so stressed about this…I think we’ve all been there. When is your endo app?

The endo app is tomorrow morning. As far as him sensing my/our stress, there is no doubt in any of our minds. This age is when they start rebelling anyway, add the diabetes and bam you have a food fight. After my tear filled first panic, not in front of him thank god, I learned about milk as a fall back and that helped get something into him and lessened my stress. Between this and that we can still get some carbs in him .
I will pass all this info onto my daughter as well. I thank you all.

Most pharmacies carry a glucose remedy called DEX 4 liquid blast it is pure glucose liquid the whole bottle is 15 grams carbs and tastes sweet it hits the bllod stream quicker than milk. may be worth a shot.

Wyatt update: He’s eating again. After my last post we had an app. with his endo and a nutritionist. Although they didn’t have any flashes of insight into this, they told us to keep offering and not give up on it because he refused it a dozen times. Number 11 could be it.
As he was eating pasta, they said go with that and supplement with milk. Now, just prior to diagnosis the kids were trying to wean him from the bottle except at bedtime. They returned to giving him a bottle with lunch. Shortly thereafter he started picking at other foods and gradually returned to eating better. Now he’s beginning to eat things he never ate before.
It is my belief that once we started supplementing with milk, WE relaxed a little and he picked up on that. At the same time as his diagnosis, we were also dealing with the failing health of his great- grand mother. I’m positive that he picked up on that as well and was instrumental to making her last days memorable. There is a saying about “out of the mouth of babes”…how about out of the love from babes we find a way.
We want to thank you all for your support and suggestions.
Any thoughts?