Resturant troubles

Hello everyone,
My name is Andrea, I am a mother to a 4 yr old that was diagnosed about 9 months ago. My family and I enjoy homemade meals but once in a blue mood we enjoy going out to eat and being spoiled but we have struggled with many restaurants due to many of them not having the proper nutrition information for many of their entrees. Now the “calorieKing” app has been a life-savor to properly calculate my sons food carb intake but only major fast food chains are on their including Mcdonalds, olive garden, Applebees…etc so when we end up at a family owned restaurant or a hole in the wall restaurant in Chicago that does not have the proper information for my son so I tend to worry about dosing him incorrectly due to this we have stopped going to restaurants with family members which is upsetting. Have any of you guys dealt with this type of situation? How do you guys properly dosage your little ones carb intake without knowing?
*Looking for advice not hatred.

Have you tried the food database in app? That’s what I use. It has some home cooked recipes as well as restaurants. There’s always going to be a bit of a guessing game. I’m T1D, so when I’m guessing I want to err on the “too little insulin” side. Then test and correct later. I can’t imagine having to manage a child’s T1D.

Hi Andrea @Brysens1fan, I don’t want to sound irresponsible, but the occasional eating out and not having a full ingredient list will not hurt your son. An occasional “high” can be tolerated, and if you are careful you can administer a correction dose - but just be careful.

What has worked for me, and I’ve been using insulin since the mid 1950’s, is that I dose for meals conservatively - I can take additional insulin later and I don’t go low from over-counting carbohydrates.

A few things to know: many chefs add sweetener to simple vegetables and other foods, to make them taste better and if you ask if “there is added sugar” the answer is “NO” - s/he added corn syrup. There will be more fat in restaurant meals - and fat is slower pushing up BG - so always check BG at 2, 4 and 6 hours after a meal such as pizza - which I love and eat.

Good luck - there is a lot of “luck” involved and enjoy those occasional family meals where you are not the cook. My wife and I eat out a couple of times every week.

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I myself love MyNetDiary - I’ve checked out quite a few apps and use it exclusively. It has an excellent meal database which includes many restaurants, although of course your “mom and pops” won’t be there.
You can’t account for the spices and “secret ingredients” in restaurant foods, but once you get comfortable estimating portion sizes you can look up items in your chosen app. to get the carb count, etc. It won’t be as on-the-nose accurate as you may like for your child, but as I think I glimpsed in another response, you can always correct after the fact - and if your child uses a CGM you can find out relatively early on of you need to adjust either way.
I’m attaching a guide I found on Google but check with your nutritionist to see if they have one they prefer that you use. Enjoy your nights out!

CalorieKing can be difficult to use outside of the main-chain eateries. I found that I can normally obtain close estimates by using the posted carbs. If I do overdose, there are always the glucose tabs in my pocket or a fruit &/or grain bar in my car to prevent going too low - or even a dessert or shake I normally won’t order. Of course a CGM helps.
And as Mike mentions - if in question, don’t overdose, correct afterwards.

Excellent advice. I have had diabetes only since 1970, but I could not have said it better.

Hello @Brysens1fan, for a meal out, you might try this link - - which gives the nutrition labels for a lot of restaurants, but your average mom and pop restaurants won’t be on there. You could also try to determine the carbs from the portion size they will be eating. Other than that, I don’t know of any other way to do it. Check it out and see if that helps.

I’m with you on this. My kid is also 4 years old and diagnosed in October. We go out for dinner about once a week. Before going out we do research and try and plan her food. I use a combination of apps and the calorie king book. Most chain restaurants are on the nutritionix app. If we are going to a mom and pop place I try and find a similar style chain restaurant and base the carbs off of that. Say for instance we go to a local Mexican joint, I will look up values for Abuelo’s and ball park it. Other times, we use the cuisine chapter in the Calorie King book to estimate calories. This has general foods under their genere (Mexican, Chinese, Fair Foods, Burgers). If there is a really big debate we try and find a couple of different sources and average the values. One tip that we found is to do this before you go out and for multiple choices. This way, when you go out you can let your 4 year old choose what they want to eat from the menu (i.e. Timmy, you can choose one of these three things.) This saves on the temper tantrums. I also agree with @Dennis The fat is a butt kicker with kids when it delay spikes. If the food is high in fat, we normally try and dose right after we order for half of the carbs then dose the other half about 1-2 hours later. Most pumps have this feature and its amazing. The last thing is take notes. I know this is nerdy but I do it all the time. We take notes about what she eats when we go out. we record her starting BG what she ordered, what we dosed, and the effects. Next time you visit the restaurant you have your own data and know exactly what to expect. Hope this helps.