Homemade meals

I have fallen into a rut with feeding my 3 year old. As 3 year olds go, she is sometimes stubborn about food, but she will eat soups and lasagna, etc.
I am realizing I find carb counting with homemade meals daunting. We went to a friends house last night for lasagna and I brought boxed Mac and cheese because I can reliably count the carbs, but she would have happily eaten the lasagna.
This is clearly my next hurdle and I don’t want to create an (even more) picky eater.
If you aren’t using a recipe that provides a carb count, how do you do it?

Hi Flora @Fiora, your words about preparing meals for your three year old daughter brought back memories and a smile. I remember those days with our kids and with a granddaughter who lived with us at that age - foods a child likes today and will eat will get pushed aside a week from now. A parent’s challenge.

I love lasagna! Yes, it is a horror counting the carbs because of the pasta, the tomato sauce and the delayed release involved with the cheeses. One thing that helps me to keep my BG in relatively good levels over the course of the day is that for both breakfast and lunch I can count carbs correctly to within a gram or two - all “standard” foods. That allows me to have a supper - either at home or away - for which I need to guess [a WAG] the approximate carb count. OK, if I guess wrong I can make an adjustment later by either a snack or insulin - but your daughter would most likely be sleeping four hours after dinner so you may need to make corrections the next day - so be careful not to give too much insulin at an evening meal.

With a three year old, you can not guess ahead of time what and how much your daughter will eat at any meal. so I suggest that you observe what IS EATEN [not what you put on her plate] and give meal insulin after she has finished. However you manage her insulin, love your daughter, enjoy being a mother and encourage her to live the life of a girl, and to grow and prosper - diabetes will NOT hold her back.

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I’m sure it’s much harder for a child, but for myself, I use MyFitnessPal.com. It has a food search that is pretty good. For example, I searched it for lasagne, and the listed recipes averaged around 35 g carbs. Then you’d have to estimate her serving in relationship to MFP serving size.

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Thanks, @Dennis and @mikefarley. I have used my fitness pal for myself in the past, I will definitely use it as a resource to estimate carbs for her in the future.
We definitely err on the side of being precise with her. We weigh all her food before we give it to her and then weigh what she doesn’t finish after (you’re exactly right about that, Dennis!) and then give her insulin accordingly. We even tend to have measurements like 3.07 g of carbs for blueberries, etc.
She’s only 3, so she’s small, she’s quite small for her age and still having honeymoons so her insulin ratios change often.
Right now we don’t correct at all for highs. If something is off she might be in the 200 range for hours until she eventually comes down. But giving an additional .5 units inevitably brings a low and her endo is absolutely against giving insulin at night for that reason. Right now her ratios are such that she typically requires a snack before bed but that puts her in a steady 130 for the rest of the night.
This is where my hesitation comes for thinking outside the box (meals!) but I don’t want her to be limited that way. We have started branching out the last couple of days with good results so far.
Thanks so much for your support and input.

Hi Flora,

Try the website below. It’s an online tool from calorie-count.com
that lets you type in or cut and paste a recipe into a text field for analysis. Once you specify how many servings the recipe yields, it should give you calories, carbs, protein, fat, etc.

Good luck!


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Hi Flora. I have a 10yo we were dx in March 2018. She was picky b4 and now is even worse. The dietician was not happy with me, but I can only do what I can do. My daughter eats boxed meals for dinner quite often, at least I can accurately account for the carbs. She eats frozen pot pies (Stouffers is way less carbs vs. Marie Calendars); she eats tv dinners, I buy the frozen sirloin burgers and we bbq those quite often, we keep plenty of eggs and hard boiled eggs on hand, bacon, anything with protein she will eat. We just do our best. Sometimes 1x mo or 1x every 2 months she can have taco bell, 2 supreme tacos are within her dinner carb count amount. I do bake chicken strips, pork chops, bbq chicken, etc… even ahi (my daughter likes sushi tuna & salmon) we just are real careful about the rice. It is such a struggle. Just do your best. The most important thing is to get them to eat. The only veggies my daughter will eat are carrots (raw or cooked), cucumbers and green beans. That is it! I have tried so many other things and she will not eat them. So she eats a lot of the same things, I worry about her getting in a rut… but I just have to take it one day at a time. There are some descent frozen lasagna’s look at the carbs on those maybe that could be a compromise. We make homemade meatballs, my daughter loves them. So I take the carb count from the bread crumbs and divide by the # of meatballs I make and guestimate from there. I find the hardest thing that effects her the most are mashed potatoes and she loves them. So I buy the Bob Evans brand and use a measuring cup, she always wants more. I try to adjust her insulin for more carbs on those nights. Lately she has been having to take a shot at bed time at that sucks. She takes a shot in the morning, at lunch if necessary (it almost never is) and then at dinner another shot… and lately the b4 bed shot. It is a struggle. I wish you luck. Just know you are not alone.

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I can’t imagine chasing your 3 year old to eat! I’ve been using a book, I hope isn’t out of print, called Exchange Lists for Meal Planning. It was put out by the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Assoc jointly, mine has a publication date 1995 (I was 30). This book gives the estimates of common foods by exchanges (the way we used to count our carbs) & my dietician showed me how to convert exchanges to carb for counting. I think this is a great resource so you don’t have to raise your baby on boxed, prepared foods.

To your heath,


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Going thru the same process myself with my two year old recently diagnosed 12/3/18. He is small and its a daily challenge. He hasn’t hit his honeymoon phase yet so its a up and down on the daily.

The honeymoons come and go for us. It’s a challenge for sure. Actually the honeymoons are more challenging. She has not yet gone through a phase of not needing insulin, we will just have a day or two or specific meal over a couple of days that sends her low. We actually have been doing this for the past couple of days and have been adjusting her ratio and then today she’s been over 250, all day. Honeymoon over, for now.

It is SO hard. I just relied on a pizza box that totally UNDER stated the carbs. I also have Celiac. Total disaster. I wish companies would know how important the info they need to publish is ACTUALLY correct!