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Snacks

Wallyberry

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Hello

my 13yo son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes by way of DKA two and a half weeks ago - all very scary and traumatic - but he‘s coping really very well. He’s on bedtime lantus and mealtime novorapid injections, and is going to begin a trial with the Freestyle Libre on Wednesday.

We’re beginning to get his blood sugar levels down more towards the normal, though we’re not quite there yet, and seem to have good support from the nurses, but I’ve got a couple of problems I wonderEd if anyone more experienced could help with.

1. he’s constantly hungry, even though he’s eating plenty at mealtimes. he did lose a lot of weight, but he seems to be putting it bck on okay- and the nurses did say this was normal and might last a few weeks. Also, at his age he’s growing a lot too. My problem is over what he can eat between meals. his school lunchtime isn’t until 1.30pm, and he has breakfast at 7.15, so it’s a long time to go without food. Up to now he’s been eating chunks of cheese, Serrano ham, cucumber, celery and the chicken snack things like satay sticks, but I’m not happy about the amount of processed food that’s suddenly been introduced into his diet! Any more suggestions? What does everyone else do?

2. With it being Christmas season, he’s got a Christmas party in his form at school on Friday and they’ve been told they can take sweets in. He wants to take some sweets, work out the carbs and give himself an extra insulin injection. I can understand this, and how left out he will feel.... but again, I’m not sure it’s a good idea. Has anyone been in this situation and what did you do? Even the sugar free sweets I’ve seen are too high in carbs for him to be able to eat more than a few... I know that a ‘portion‘ of sweets is only a few if you read the packet, but the reality is that most non-diabetics wouldn’t limit themselves to a portion!

Any advice or ideas would be gratefully received. We’re still tired, a bit strung out and just getting to grips with the basic stuff, so anything out of the ordinary is still causing a disproportionate amount of stress!

Thanks!
 
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Sally71

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Go for it with the Christmas party, let him enjoy himself! If he knows how to work out the carbs for some extra sweets then let him do it, sweets aren’t exactly good for everyone else either but just occasionally for a treat they are not going to hurt. Just keep an eye on his blood sugars for a few hours afterwards, you may find you need a correction dose later, but for one day if his numbers go a bit crazy again that will make no difference at all in the grand scheme of things.

The hunger will subside after a couple of weeks, it's just his body rebuilding itself after it got a bit of a battering before the diabetes was discovered. And if he's growing as well that's a double whammy! I can’t really think of any more suggestions for snacks but there’s no reason why he couldn’t have a sandwich or a piece of fruit occasionally if he doesn’t mind having an extra injection with it. Good luck, it’s hard in the early days but it does get easier, honest!
 

Robin

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Be careful with 'sugar free' sweets. They often contain polyols, which are listed as carbs on the packet, but which aren’t absorbed by the body, so if you inject for the carb total, you’ll have massively over bolused.The other 'interesting' effect of them is that, because the body doesn’t absorb them, they can reappear at the other end in a somewhat explosive fashion! (look up reviews for sugar-free gummy bears on Amazon!)
 

Flower

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Could he take a few 'fun' size bags of sweets/chocolates for himself as they have the carbs for that size packet on the back, if it's only a few small packets then the bolus will be small and the blood sugar spike will hopefully be limited although end of term fun/Christmas might add to the slightly unpredictable mix! What @Robin says about sugar free sweets- I'd choose to eat a small amount of normal sweets and bolus over eating sugar free sweets - (apart from chewing gum.)

I hope he enjoys the party.
 

Docb

Moderator
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi @Wallyberry and welcome to the forum. Can't help with your query, way out of my experience, but I have just got to congratulate your son for the way he wants to take charge and get on with life. Brilliant.
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hi @Wallyberry :)

The hunger is normal. I was starving for around 3 weeks and quite peckish for a few more weeks after that!

For snacks - as Sally says, there’s no reason why he can’t inject for a snack with more carbs (check with his team re details). I inject for snacks even now if I want something more substantial. That’s a late lunchtime for anyone, diabetic or not. Could he split his lunch and have some earlier?

When you say he’s on “mixed insulin” do you actually mean mixed or do you just mean two different kinds of insulin in separate injections?

For the Xmas Party, I’d have ‘safe’ foods to fill up on and then have a few ‘treat’ items and inject for them as needed. Knowing in advance what kind of foods will be available would help him plan what to eat rather than be tempted by an array of sugary things. It’s easy to lose count of carbs when you’re busy having fun!
 

Wallyberry

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
@Inka - he’s on two different types, lantus at bedtime and novorapid at mealtimes. Sorry - I’m still a bit lost

thanks everyone for the super-helpful and positive replies, it’s made me feel a lot better!
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
@Wallyberry - don't worry about feeling 'a bit lost' - it's normal to begin with whether you're diagnosed yourself or you're a parent whose child has. You could not possibly know 'all about' it when you simply haven't any experience of Type 1. I was diagnosed at 22 and utterly clueless to begin with - we're ALL in that boat to begin with.

49 years later I do know more

However - the absolute crux of all advice about diabetes is to never stop asking questions about it!! - I've had it for over 49 years by now - and there are still things I either don't know at all or of course at my age, may have forgotten by now. So the other thing to remember is - none of the questions you can ask at any time, is a 'silly' one! Though some of the answers might be - in which case - query them! You do need to trust your own judgment. If the person explaining whatever doesn't make sense of it to you, either ask someone else later or ask them again - or indeed both if it still doesn't make sense to you! You can happily do that on this forum - just by another person using slightly different words, certain things can become suddenly much clearer. Never be scared of saying 'Sorry, I haven't a clue what you're going on about' !! With a bit of luck you won't need to, but if you do ..... nobody here will get offended.

Some of us can be a bit too blunt sometimes, but there again any number of us were brought up by our parents to 'Tell the truth and shame the Devil!' to encourage us not to fib as kiddies, so there we go.

No pint in beating about the bush IMHO - I'd far rather have a few proper sweets when I fancy em and have extra fast acting insulin to cover that so if your lad's already prepared to do that - good for him! It IS a special occasion for him when all's said and done and we all deserve a little 'reward' occasionally for being 'good' the rest of the time. Just don't leave an open packet of Jaffa cakes next to me though!!

We do all have to be encouraged to continue to enjoy life - don't we?
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
@Inka - he’s on two different types, lantus at bedtime and novorapid at mealtimes. Sorry - I’m still a bit lost

thanks everyone for the super-helpful and positive replies, it’s made me feel a lot better!

No problem - it’s completely overwhelming to start with for everyone. The only reason I asked was because advice would be different if he was on a mixed insulin (which is just one liquid with a mix of fast-acting and slow-acting insulins in specific proportions). What your son is on is the most common regime for Type 1s :) It’s called MDI - multiple daily injections - and is a good, flexible regime.

I hope your son enjoys the Christmas Party :)
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
In these early days would it help to have some things which can be eaten without making a big 'dent' in the carb count? For instance some sugar free jelly with yoghurt or cream whipped in - made in single servings in small cups or bowls - he could probably eat that without any effect on blood glucose and it feels like a treat - real custard made with eggs and cream plus flavouring - vanilla, lemon, even a few strawberries whipped in - low carb crackers to go with the cheese, good quality sausages cooked and left in the fridge - we get some from the coop which are good, there are always hard boiled eggs, or chicken thighs roasted so the skins are crispy would probably go down well. They would then mean there is no great need to alter meals or insulin all that much, not as much as 'ordinary' foods.
I'm just trying to suggest foods which would not need constant vigilance and which would make for a more relaxed approach to snack foods, so you can concentrate on main meals and getting them in line with what the injections of a mixed insulin require.
I remember mine at that age - it was perfectly normal to have an empty fridge, and leftovers were simply unknown.
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
@Drummer the OP’s son is on MDI and not the fixed doses of mixed insulin. Therefore there’s no concern about ‘using up’ the carb count because there isn’t one. The only carb count is the one that all Type 1s do to calculate their dose for what they’re about to eat. Carb counting for a Type 1, as I’m sure you know, is not a question of limiting carbs but of calculating the carbs and using the given ratio(s) to work out the correct bolus.
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I just remember the look on a teenage girls face when she asked about carbs in my Christmas dishes taken to a 'do' and I said, if you eat everything on the table - about 50 gm.
I think that the constant concern is very wearing for young people - I think she had about four helpings of the trifle, and at least six sausage rolls - but she was like a lath - oh and two of the beef pasties, that I saw.
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I actually wonder how many mothers these days automatically know the method of making a 'real' custard in the first place? Whereas my mum had a double saucepan which was HER mother's, though she didn't use it very often once they'd invented Pyrex LOL (I've always had to bung a basin over a saucepan of simmering water anyway)

I mean come on - you don't even have to boil up milk in a saucepan these days for custard - so why faff about separating eggs etc?

It doesn't please me. But it IS true. They don't even bother teaching DS at most schools either now.
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Well I am a 50's child and my never mum made custard using Bird's Custard powder. Don't think I ever had what you call proper custard, even though my Nana was a professional cook.
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
It often amused me when reading ancient stories - particularly the Greek ones, that it was perfectly normal for men to make themselves a cooking fire and get buzy with knives and cauldron - even using their shields as chopping boards and gathering herbs in their helmets or their little frocks.
 

Sally71

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
I actually wonder how many mothers these days automatically know the method of making a 'real' custard in the first place? Whereas my mum had a double saucepan which was HER mother's, though she didn't use it very often once they'd invented Pyrex LOL (I've always had to bung a basin over a saucepan of simmering water anyway)

I mean come on - you don't even have to boil up milk in a saucepan these days for custard - so why faff about separating eggs etc?

It doesn't please me. But it IS true. They don't even bother teaching DS at most schools either now.
My daughter is doing Food Technology, and she knows how to make custard with eggs. Jolly nice it is too! (Although she says whilst it's fun to make, she prefers the taste of Birds Instant!!)
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
ROFLMAO at your daughter. We have Tesco's own brand since the sugar free version has always been more readily available, than Birds - in Tesco's LOL When it came in tins (I mean custard powder not tinned custard!) I preferred Brown & Poulsons to Birds. But everyone else's mother seemed to buy Birds anyway.

Only made proper custard the once in recent years - we had best part of a brioche gone a bit stale in France in the motorhome and Pete said Can't we do something with this, errr, bread & butter pudding or something? And I said, well got no dried fruit ... hang on. my mum occasionally made marmalade pud when she had no dried fruit, but of course we've no marmalade either. Then remembered there was half a jar of apricot jam which I adore and I tell you, all the Bonne Maman jams they sell in France have shedloads more fruit in them than what we get here. So that was that settled - apricot jam brioche sandwiches with egg custard poured over and left to stand to soak in, chucked in a low oven whilst we ate our evening meal.

Just fab!
 

Josh DUK

Online Forum Manager
Staff member
Hello

my 13yo son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes by way of DKA two and a half weeks ago - all very scary and traumatic - but he‘s coping really very well. He’s on bedtime lantus and mealtime novorapid injections, and is going to begin a trial with the Freestyle Libre on Wednesday.

We’re beginning to get his blood sugar levels down more towards the normal, though we’re not quite there yet, and seem to have good support from the nurses, but I’ve got a couple of problems I wonderEd if anyone more experienced could help with.

1. he’s constantly hungry, even though he’s eating plenty at mealtimes. he did lose a lot of weight, but he seems to be putting it bck on okay- and the nurses did say this was normal and might last a few weeks. Also, at his age he’s growing a lot too. My problem is over what he can eat between meals. his school lunchtime isn’t until 1.30pm, and he has breakfast at 7.15, so it’s a long time to go without food. Up to now he’s been eating chunks of cheese, Serrano ham, cucumber, celery and the chicken snack things like satay sticks, but I’m not happy about the amount of processed food that’s suddenly been introduced into his diet! Any more suggestions? What does everyone else do?

2. With it being Christmas season, he’s got a Christmas party in his form at school on Friday and they’ve been told they can take sweets in. He wants to take some sweets, work out the carbs and give himself an extra insulin injection. I can understand this, and how left out he will feel.... but again, I’m not sure it’s a good idea. Has anyone been in this situation and what did you do? Even the sugar free sweets I’ve seen are too high in carbs for him to be able to eat more than a few... I know that a ‘portion‘ of sweets is only a few if you read the packet, but the reality is that most non-diabetics wouldn’t limit themselves to a portion!

Any advice or ideas would be gratefully received. We’re still tired, a bit strung out and just getting to grips with the basic stuff, so anything out of the ordinary is still causing a disproportionate amount of stress!

Thanks!

Hello @Wallyberry ,

Thank you so much for joining our online community forum. I am so sorry to hear about your sons diagnosis and I can only imagine how difficult it is must be for you and your family. It may be helpful to call our helpline and speak to one of our advisers.
 

danielmg

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hi @Wallyberry. Whenever I have snacks between my 'main' meals throughout the day, I try to keep these as standardised as possible, or having an appropriate list of both fast-acting (high GI) and slow-acting (low GI) sources of carbohydrates. It is difficult to say as to which food sources will be best for your Son (the amount possible to have with/without insulin differs for everyone), but after a period of trial and error, you'll be able to narrow down a selection which becomes easier to estimate how much of an effect it will have on his glucose levels.

It can be even more difficult I've found, especially with fast-acting foods, in choosing something which works well and is nutritionally 'healthy' (or more healthy than other options). For fast to medium acting foods, I have snacks such as Nakd wholefood bars (dried fruits and nuts), and for longer-acting foods, I may have some oatcakes with spread on top. Obviously, this differs from person-to-person depending on their preferences as well, but gradually with experience, I'm sure your Son will build up a list of foods that work and foods that he may not like or react well to (in terms of glucose levels).

Best of luck with everything.
 
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