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A little depressed at the grocery store...

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by kirsteng, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. kirsteng

    kirsteng Approved members

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    Hi everyone,

    We're new here, less than 2 weeks since diagnosis. I went to the grocery store tonight, and I felt a little down as I walked around... I really didn't know what I 'should' buy. We always had a good diet, mostly made-from-scratch meals, muffins, cookies etc, and we already ate a lot of whole grain things. But as I walked around, I was wondering if I can ONLY buy whole grain items now?? For instance we all love sourdough bread - is that something I should only buy once or twice a year now, and stick with all 100% whole wheat?

    We always bought treats for the kids though, chips, candies, little chocolates. Not every day by any means, but for sure a couple/few times a week they would get treats. Are these out except for rare special occasions? I have Grady's meal plan, and it's very specific to each meal and snack: x carbs, x proteins, x fruits, x fats.. I feel like I'm doing something very wrong if I don't give him entirely healthy foods at every meal. In the 2 weeks since diagnosis, he has only had 2 tiny chocolate christmas eggs, and a digestive cookie twice I think.

    Is this how I'm supposed to feed him from now on? It seems very sad to skip so many of the 'fun' foods that he used to love.. chocolate covered granola bars, fruit to go (fruit leather), many varieties of cereals, bagels, waffles, virtually all cookies, candy and chocolate... even many kinds of crackers that he used to eat that were white flour. It just seems like he's lost so much of the variety that he used to have.. and he's only 3. :( I don't want him (or my other two children, aged 8 and 9) to start to feel deprived and different.

    Any tips on how you handle groceries/treats etc would be most appreciated.
     
  2. Nancy in VA

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    It sounds like you are on a regimen with Regular, is that true? We started on the regimen but went to carb counting and MDI pretty quickly. Emma was 2 and it was hard to force her to just a certain number of carbs and then force a bedtime snack. I'd recommend talking to your Endo about a progression towards a more flexible eating / dosing regimen, because they exist.
     
  3. selketine

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    William was dx'd at 26 months and those first few weeks/months are definitely an adjustment period. We started out on regular at the hospital but went to diluted humalog as soon as we got home. If you are on regular/NPH it does mean a fairly regimented meal plan is required. I agree to talk to your doctor about going off those two insulins and getting on a fast acting (like novolog/humalog) and if you need a basal insulin at this point - a 24 hour one like lantus.

    This WILL require more shots however. This is the downside and a reason why kids are sometimes started on regular/nph.

    The plus side of changing is that you can allow more flexibility with eating. What you were eating before is exactly what he should be eating now pretty much (it was hard to have any juices or sweet drinks - but for the most part everything in moderation). Fruit leather/gummies were a bit hard a first too but you can learn to add them in if you get a flexible insulin.

    I love whole wheat but no need you have to always have that. With a little kid you really want variety and let them try new foods.

    I suggest you take a look at pumping. I put William on a pump when he was still 2 years old (6 months after diagnosis). I would have preferred to start it right away because it allows SO much flexibility. The book "Sweet Kids" if it is an excellent view of living with type 1 and eating. You can buy it from amazon (US anyway) for a penny plus shipping.
     
  4. hawkeyegirl

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    What insulins are you using? If you give us some more information, we will be able to offer some advice that will let your son eat exactly as he did before diagnosis. :)
     
  5. JNBryant

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    While whole grain and whole wheat breads are better for you than plain bread, I've found that they also have the same if not more grams of carbs per serving. If you really think about it and strip it down to bare bones, a healthy diabetic diet is just a healthy diet, period. As long as you have a healthy balance of fruits, veggies, protein and carbs, there's nothing wrong with having treats like you used to. My son eats everything he used to including waffles, chocolate, muffins and the occasional cookie.

    Like others have already suggested, I would strongly suggest speaking with your endo to determine insulin to carb ratios and correction factors. It will mean more shots, but it allows much greater flexibility at mealtime. Once you settle in, there's always the option for a pump too.
     
  6. kirsteng

    kirsteng Approved members

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    Thanks everyone - it's good to hear that your kids have a fairly 'normal' diet after the initial adjustment period. I think it bothers me more than Grady, to be honest.. I just feel sorry for him, I guess.

    We are on NR and NPH, twice a day (breakfast and dinner). Still working on doses, although he seems to be settling into about 2.5/6 at the moment. We've had some definite lows and quite a few highs after eating, so I think we'll have to ask about the other options next time we go in to clinic. I didn't realize there were so many options with regards to insulin! :confused:
     
  7. emc71

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    Hi there
    I felt exactly like you when my little boy was diagnosed last august-we too have always had a healthy diet but of course liked treats!! I used to feel so tearful at the supermarket because I was looking at all the low sugar options-even yoghurts-and I found it so sad. We had to do this at first because he was only on 2 injections a day. It then got easier once we went to MDI and started carb counting but now we have a pump he is pretty much eating exactly as he always did before T1 because now we can account for everything he eats. Food packets also have so much information on them for calculating carbohydrates-I was really daunted by it all at first, but it soon gets easier. We stick to a healthy balanced diet but never deny our little boy treats-he has 2 younger siblings and they all get the same. Its early days for you yet and you may not be on the same regime in a few weeks or months.
    My little boy ate a huge chocolate Santa on Xmas day and his numbers were normal after 2 hours thanks to the pump-I would never have thought this possible in the first few weeks after he was diagnosed.
    It will get easier with time :)
     
  8. momofone

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    Here in Canada we're still stuck in the "dark ages" when it comes to insulin therapy. NPH is standard here and you would be hard pressed to find an endo who will switch you to MDI. I remember when my son was diagnosed, they told us that the first time you do a grocery shop after diagnosis, make sure you leave yourself lots of time. OP, if you learn about how to calculate carb factors early on, that should help you a ton. I remember the labels saying a i.e. a serving was 36 carbs but I only needed 10 carbs. I would have a breakdown trying to figure that out. Once were learned about carb factors it was so much easier. I don't know if that is something that interests you but I there are some good lists already put together out there and you can figure it out for any food you're eating as long as you know the carbs and the serving size. I don't want to overload you with info. We're in BC.
     
  9. cdninct

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    I think grocery store depression is really common early on. I certainly felt it! It is a place where you have to confront diabetes head on. The good news is, no matter what regimen you are on, you can still eat most, if not all, of the foods you did before. Sure, whole grains are great, but sourdough will be fine. The little treats are just fine, too, as long as they are incorporated into your schedule. If you are being told otherwise, I would look for better advice. Diabetes with a preschooler is hard enough without an endo setting up unnecessary roadblocks. Yes, diabetes requires you to make some adjustments, but you should not have to completely reconfigure your life or feel like you are continually depriving your child of little pleasures.

    And grocery shopping does get easier--I promise!

    Whereabouts in ON are you?
     
  10. nebby3

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    I remember feeling the same way, but your child can eat the little treats he used to have. It sounds like you are on a pretty strict regimen for now and as others have suggested I would look into changing that. But in the meantime, if your son wants a fruit leather, give it to him. Maybe include it as part of lunch and reduce the carbs somewhere else. Kids have to be kids too. It is not all about diabetes. And you don't want them to grow up always feeling deprived and to rebel layer when they are on their own.
     
  11. Deal

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    I think there are many endo's that use a pragmatic approach to managing school age children. We don't have nurses in public schools and so NPH is a common tool used to manage not having to deliver insulin during school hours. If you can make the trips to the school then ask your endo about switching. I had no difficulties whatsoever.

    It's funny that you would say we are in the dark ages considering the advancements made in diabetes research here in Canada. The Edmonton protocol out West comes to mind. U of T continues to research. Recall that the inventors of insulin trained there. I think Canada is actually considered a leader in type 1 research.
     
  12. momofone

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    I see your point and definitely agree. But research and advancements don't necessarily translate to better treatment. I'm well aware of the of the lack of nurses in the school system but instead of staying stuck where we are and treating kids with an insulin that was invented back in 1936, it sure would be nice to be advocating for them and moving forwards and towards getting these kids the help they need instead of relying on NPH. We also tend to be the last to approve devices (with the exception of the Veo), i.e. Dexcom, Omnipod, etc.
     
  13. kirsteng

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    That's SO good to hear! :D

    We're in Ottawa.

    (sorry my replies are a little late as I'm a new poster, so my posts have to be checked over by a moderator...)
     
  14. kirsteng

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    Interesting... I didn't realize that the Canadian approach was different than other countries'.... we are with a big children's hospital (CHEO), so I'm hoping that they'll be open to MDI - we'll ask at our next appointment.

    I have no problem with learning carb factors etc (I'm kinda good with math ;) ) but how do you handle MDI at school? Do you have to go there at lunch(x2) hour to administer their shot?
     
  15. Christopher

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    Who is telling you that you have to change the way you buy food?

    I didn't change my buying habits. Why would I? I just count the carbs in a meal and make sure I give her enough insulin for it.
     
  16. kirsteng

    kirsteng Approved members

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    I wrote a response earlier regarding the system we are currently on, but I think it's caught up with the moderators.

    Anyhow, we are using the NR/NPH system, with 2 shots per day (breakfast and dinner). Because it's only twice a day (on a sliding scale) they are very specific about what we can eat when.. how many carb servings at what hour etc.

    While it doesn't say to not eat (say, chips etc) - it recommends 'limiting' those foods, and whole grains for carb control. It also has so many specifics for each meal that there isn't much room for antying else. That is why I am questioning whether most people changed the majority of their diet to being uber-healthy in the wake of this diagnosis... or just tweak it a little or more over time.
     
  17. nanhsot

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    I actually stopped at a grocery store on the way home from the hospital, it was not my usual store and to this very day (3 years later!) it still gives me anxiety to walk into that store! I can vividly recall reading every label and wondering what/how/when....it was overwhelming.

    Your experience, your worry, your anxiety is all very normal. The short answer is that YES, it will get easier and life will take on normalcy. You will go through a period of feeling like it's all too much and it'll never make sense, then you'll find a groove and you'll figure it out.

    The biggest problem you have right now is that you are using a very limiting insulin regimen. I'll admit I have no clue how it works in Canada, and how much control you have over it, but realize that there are better ways, regimens that allow your child to eat normally, without a schedule, without forcing a certain amount or limiting to a certain amount. When you feel your feet under you again it's definitely something to discuss with your endo team (again, not sure IF that's an option as I am unclear how things work there).

    I will admit that after diagnosis I did take out many family favorites, sourdough being one of them. I have slowly added back almost everything back in, though there are some things that my son chooses to do without, or he self limits to rare occasions, his limited foods (again, by choice, not force) are pizza and baked potatos. He CAN eat them, but finds they are not worth it.

    All this to say that it will get easier, and you will find that diabetes is just part of what your world is, rather than as it is now, dominating your world. It will become a background rather than the focus. It will take time and there will be ups and downs, but it will happen.

    Good luck, please reach out to others for help, ask questions, and know you are not alone.
     
  18. hawkeyegirl

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    My son was also diagnosed at age 3, and we were also started on an NPH regimen. At our 2 week appointment, I burst into tears at the endo's office because it was such a nightmare getting my son to eat a particular number of carbs at a specific time. He immediately switched us to a Humalog/Lantus regimen, and we did that for 5 months until we started pumping. NPH was an absolute nightmare for us. I'd definitely talk to your endo about a switch.
     
  19. cdninct

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    We started on NPH (with rapid-acting Novolog and slow-acting Levemir thrown in, too), so I understand why you feel the way you do about trying to make every carb count. BG-control-wise, it worked fine for us. After a few weeks of voracious eating when my son tried to make up for the weeks leading up to diagnosis (which really complicates the first few weeks for many kids), we settled into a bit of a pattern. If your son is like mine was, he has a small rotation of meals he likes to eat, so when you get those figured out, things will go more smoothly. We gradually learned which meals kept him feeling satisfied and which ones were a bit too "empty". We also found the optimal times to slip in some treats.

    We made NPH work for us, but it took a toll. Unfortunately, insulin controlled our lives. The more we learned about our son's eating habits, the more we could fine-tune dosages and timing to work for us, but at the end of the day, we spent most of our time obsessing over carbs and the clock. When my son started on the pump at 5 months in, a whole new world was opened up to us, one in which he could eat what he wanted to, when he wanted to eat it. It was amazing! We would never go back to NPH again--if we went off the pump, we would opt instead to give a separate shot at each meal to cover the carbs eaten at that time, with another shot each day to cover "basal" needs.

    If you are on-board with using your son's diagnosis as a springboard into healthier eating, then go for it! It certainly gives you the opportunity to do so. On the other hand, if you want to keep things more or less as they were before, then you should be able to work with your endo to make that happen. If he or she or they are not willing to do so, I would seek out someone who will.

    By the way, although I am presently living in Connecticut, I am from the GTA (and am there at the moment). I was just curious how close you were! :cwds:
     
  20. selketine

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    Newly dx'd kids on old insulins like NPH and Regular are on regimented carb counts/meal plans. It is hard to fit in some things that kids might be used to (like that pack of gummies or a cookie, etc. With a toddler/preschooler they can be picky/finicky and it is just a real PITA to not be able to dose for what they eat - but rather make the food fit the insulin. At least I never found a way to make NPH work - it was a nightmare the entire time we used it.
     

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