RE: Struggling with snack time

I have a daughter that is 6 years old and has type 1. When we get home from school I offer her a snack. I offer two different options.Just recently she starts crying and throwing a tantrum because its not what she wants or its not enough. Then she will start saying why cant i eat what I want and why does she have diabetes and not her sister.I was wondering if any other parent has gone through this kind of behavor and how you handled it. I do get alittle stressed and start to feel bad for her. Ill take any advice.

Thanks for listening

A concerned parent

do you have access to a nutritionist or a CDE who can help you mix up the options a little?    you know - your daughter does have a point.  why can't it be whatever she wants (with reasonable limitations)?  insulin just has to cover the carbs - it's more of a decision thing for me if I want to snack on sweet-tarts or high fiber whole wheat crackers.  lately I've been having this thing for reese's....

I feel for her too and she'll likely be very angry at times.  I bet it's more anger than it is the menu.  help her talk about it, it's probably confusing to her why you can't fix her or make it go away.  this can go away or become a real problem.  maybe therapy, or exposure to other kids with diabetes could help.  do you know where your local JDRF office is?

Joe's advice is good.  I think a strict diet is unnecessary and will backfire long term.  

There are lots of books available on carbohydrate counting.  Your doctor can help determine your daughter's carbohydrate ratio, which is the number of carbs covered by 1 unit of insulin (it varies for different people).  

Carbohydrate counting has been around since the early 1990's and has dramatically improved diabetes management.  Plus it's just more real life.  Kids are sporadic in their eating.  My 6 year old eats like a farm hand some days and other days barely eats.  That's normal.  Let your child eat normally and adjust the insulin to her needs.  

Take care.  -Jenna

You've gotten good advice from the other posters. I know that I was very fortunate. I was diagnosed in the 60s but had a world class pediatric endo. I was not on a strict diet even then and was allowed "treats" and we just gave me a bit more insulin.

Don't treat her differently by too much than her sibling. I have a friend that went through that and she is 60 now and still has mental issues because of it. There is no reason to.

Try to be as flexible as possible with  her. Talk to her doc and work out her ratios so that if she doesn't want a snack or wants something special, you can work it in.

Best of luck.


Jenn it is total normal behavoir.  My 9 year old did this a lot in the beginning. I try to have a variety of things on hand for my son to have for a snack.  Then he can choose whatever.  I try to keep things healthy but I also buy the prepackaged 100 calorie snacks and sugar free jello. And the thing that has worked for me is not withholding anything from son with the exception of a few things is to just work it into his meal plan and give him insulin for it and correct it later if it wasn't enouch.  Not sure which insulin your daughter is on.  I know in the beginning it was hard because my son was on the 70/30.  I was really glad when he went to MDI a year ago it allowed for so much flexibility and he is getting ready to have the pump in the next few weeks.  Just stay strong the emotional part and the why me are just part of it.  My son still does especially if his bs are high but not too much anymore.  It is hard around the holidays but I usually let him have a choice a particularly not so good item a day. Just so that he doesn't get the urge to sneak something.

Try to make it as stress-free as you can for her. It is not only stress for the parent, but also on the child. I get angry too, honestly it wouldn't be normal if a diabetic didn't get angry at times because of their diabetes. My doctor and parents have been really great about that. It's okay to have food that any other 6 year old would have. As long as you cover it with insulin, you're fine. I sometimes say "I wish I didn't have diabetes. Then I wouldn't have to avoid a stupid chocolate bar." My mom tells me it's fine and I can eat just as much as a normal 13 year old girl can. It's true, all I have to do is cover it with my insulin. I love insulin for that reason :) Good luck and I know you're doing great. Good job at being the awesome mom you are!

Is the snack something you would have allowed her before diabetes? If so I say count the carbs, bolus and go for it.

Restricting foods can cause problems later. Everything in moderation for everyone.