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October 11, 1999

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Jacksonville,Florida, USA:

My son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 9 months old. He is now 17 months and I am having trouble getting him to eat and counting carbs. He only wants to eat cheese and drink milk, and of course eat things he shouldn't (ice cream, etc.). Veggies are almost impossible. How do I count carbs when I can give him 45g for breakfast and he gets half of it in his hair and in his diaper and on the floor? Help! Any suggestions on food he may eat?

Answer:

I know how difficult this age can be and my heart goes out to you. Everyday battles over what a child will eat are a common complaint among parents of this age child. I would suggest you contact your health care team for suggestions on times to give insulin, that is sometimes insulin may be given after one sees what the child has actually eaten instead of before the meal is eaten. The book Sweet Kids: How to Balance Diabetes Control & Good Nutrition with Family Peace would also be a big help I believe.

Children this age often get on food jags where they only eat one thing for a while. I would try things that he likes — 1/4-1/2 servings of carbs are sometimes better accepted — such as a little cereal, a little milk, a few sections of orange, a few slices of banana. Sometimes what is not eaten for one meal can be made up for in a snack, depending on what insulin regimen your child are on. Most of all know that “this too will pass.”

JM