Newly diagnosed toddler, ideas for snacks?

Hi all!  I have so much enjoyed reading everyone's posts and although it's online, feel the support of this community and am so glad to have this place and the obviously knowledgeable people here as resources.  So, my 2-year old just got diagnosed last week, and the biggest thing the nutritionist and our Endo told us was that we have to keep feeding her like she's a toddler, let her have her favorite foods, and let her graze as was her habit before this diagnosis.  However, snacking seems to be doing us in on our numbers.  She has a fairly varied diet for a 2yro, but I'd love some ideas for low-carb snacks so I can give her the big carbs at mealtimes and not have to give her insulin every 5 seconds for the snacking.  

Can I have your opinions on snacks, or whether I should just keep feeding her like she wants ( milk one hour, then fruit snacks the next hour, then a piece of fruit the next hour, etc.) and giving her carb:insulin ratio to cover her eating? Right now her carb to insulin ratio is a 1/2 unit for 10 grams of carb, so I'm looking for <10 gram snacks, I guess. :)

Thanks in advance. :)

My son likes celery with a little bit of peanut butter. That may work depending on allergies.

Also, cheese in moderation is a zero carb snack. Some hot dogs too depending on what they are made of.

Yep, no allergies so far. We've done carrots and ranch dressing and straight PB but no celery yet... thank you!

We do:



Cheese sticks

Sugar-free jello and popcicles

1 cup popcorn


Veggies and dip

Beef sticks

Another mom on here suggested this: put some yogurt into a ziplock bag. Cut the corner, squeeze small drops onto freezer paper. Freeze. Store in a container in the freezer. A handful of these yogurt drops are only a few carbs. I added a swirl of food coloring for fun.

I hope that helps! Good luck!

GoGurts are similar to the yogurt in a bag idea.  They have 13g of carb and are really yummy frozen.

Yup, we do the frozen yogurt drops and all the previously mentioned things too.  Also popcorn twists are low, crystal light popsicles, those mini rice cakes that are chip flavors, one or two crackers, pepperoni and cheese sticks.  A slice of apple or two is low, or most berries are low and you need a lot to amount to carbs.  As far as the grazing goes, we had to put a stop to it because it just affected numbers too much.  We MDI with my 3yr old, but if you have your child on a pump maybe grazing would be easier? We were told the same thing as far as let them eat like a toddler, but for us it didn't work. She still gets to eat the foods she wants and she decides what her snacks will be (for the most part) but she only gets milk at meals and snacks at snack time.  Other than that if she wants something, it has to be under 5 carbs. The hardest adjustment was the milk for sure.  Pretty backwards to tell your toddler "no you can't have milk but how about sugary tasting crystal light?" But milk will spike pretty quick.  We are six months in now and she's adjusted to the new eating schedule. Good luck with everything! Sorry to hear you've both joined this club :(

Oh, and my daughter now knows which foods have "no carbs" so if she wants a snack and its not an appropriate time, I tell her she can have a snack but with zero carbs and she knows she can pick from cheese, meat, pickles, etc. So she still gets that choice.  Its all about still letting them have control, but you just narrow their choices first. Involve her in as many decisions as she wants to be included in and she will absorb info like a sponge.  I have a love/hate relationship with the fact my 3yr old can spout off carb counts for a dozen of her favorite items.

Thanks, all! I'm off to the grocery store :)

Lots of good suggestions.  Because she is so young and newly diagnosed, I would add Gerber Puffs (or their equivalent) to the list.  They are 1 g carb for 12 puffs (or so, depending on variety), so she can have a lot without needing insulin.  My son was 2.5 at diagnosis, and his baby sister was just starting finger foods, so these were a familiar and comforting snack for him.

Hi Christine

we have been on the pump for about a year now, so it isn't an issue for us in the way it used to be. But when we were doing low carb or free snacks the ones that worked best for us that haven't been listed yet (I don't think) were seaweed snacks (the Trader Joe's ones are great), pork rinds (I know these are terribly unhealthy, but they are so carb-like in texture that sometimes they were the only thing that would satisfy our son), and fresh mozzarella (and of course cheese sticks), which he loves. Sometimes omelets would work too, although that was hit or miss.

Good luck and take care,


Hi Christine,

My daughter was 2.5 when she was diagnosed 2 years ago and we had the same concerns because she was a grazer too.  We found that beef (or venison/turkey) jerky was a great snack for the times that she was high or just wanted more to eat.  Luckily my husband makes his own because the prepackaged kind can be very expensive.  Another recipe we found was a hit is smudgies and 1 graham cracker square "sandwich" is 15c so you could half them.  Not a big snack that way but very good and you could couple it with a cheese stick.

Smudgies: Blend 1½ cups milk with ½ cup peanut butter and 1 package of sugar-free instant pudding—chocolate or vanilla. Beat well, then let stand for 5 minutes. Spread filling ½-inch thick on graham cracker square. Top with another graham cracker square and then freeze until firm—about 3 hours. Makes 12. One smudgie equals 1 carbohydrate choice.

Another go-to choice for us is the Dannon light & fit carb & sugar control yogurt which has 3 carbs. It comes in vanilla & strawberry but we would add a few blueberries (10 is only 2c) and crush up a few cheerios (for crunch) and it's a great snack!  Just hard finding the yogurt, only Walmart around us has it.

We switched to the Omnipod pump last Nov because I was tired of feeling like I couldn't feed her as much or as often as she wanted if I wanted to keep her BG in check.  It's by far the best thing we've done.  I knew she wouldn't do well with tubing so this was the only option for us.  She wears it on the back of her arms and doesn't mind at all!  Life changing for this "betes" mom :-)

Good luck!


Hi Christine,

My son as two when first diagonsed with Type 1 diabetes and know what you are going through right now...but it will get easier! :)   For my son, who is now 7 and on pump therapy, we have a rule for snacks. Anything under 15carbs and they have to be healthy snacks that will keep him full.  The following is a list of what my son will have for a snack .  I always try to give him some protein in each meal as that keeps him full longer and helps with blood surgar levels.  


Low -Fat Cheese

Veggies with Lite Ranch Dressing

Apple with Peanut Butter

Low-fat Ice Cream

Lunch meat

Good Luck and please feel free to contact me directly with any questions!  


My son was 2 when he got diagnosed and our endo told us he couldn't graze. He can have a free snack in between meals but thats it. He is now 4 and it's still frustrating.

Try this... Get a container of cool whip(regular) and a box of sugar free fat free vanilla pudding mix. Add some of the powder to the cool whip. My son LOVES it!!!! He just celebrated his birthday and that's what I used as the icing. Everyone at his party loved it. He dips his strawberries in it.

Hi Christine, Our daughter was diagnosed a year ago at 3 and I completely understand the snack issue.  We try to find "free", no carb or really low carb snacks for those times, when we can.  We keep cheese sticks on hand, slices of ham/turkey, peanuts.  We also get sugar free ice pops, the popsicle ones are only 4 gms of carbs each.  Small individual bags of pretzels out there with only 9 gms, also small individual bags of smartfood popcorn with only 9 gms.  Not all your healthiest options, but not the worst either, and i know when you have a toddler you need some opitons.  Hope those help a little.

This is really late I know, and you've probably got it figured out by now but we really love olives, pickles, tomatoes, really any veggies for snack time. You can get or make a veggie tray for inbetween snacking. Also a meat and cheese tray is handy to have around. Drinks can get them on carbs too especially since toddlers love juice, milk, etc. But Crystal light drink mixes are carb free and sweet so you can mix some of that up if they want a drink other than water. Be careful with the dressing and stuff though, they can be really high in fat/sodium and fill your babe up on empty calories... plus if your 2 year old is anything like my two year old then they might just use the carrot as the spoon to eat the ranch off of. :) Hope this is helpful!