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Carb counting APP

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Kkaritis, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. Kkaritis

    Kkaritis New Member

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    My daughter is newly diagnosed (1 week). I need help dividing the serving size and carbs. To figure out her meals. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Kim
     
  2. moco89

    moco89 Approved members

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    The most accurate way of counting carbs and learning how to "eye-measure" serving sizes is by using a digital scale in combination with a smartphone app.

    1. Purchase a decent quality digital food scale, such as the Salter brand. Check out Amazon.com for reviews on digital food scales. A versatile, durable digital kitchen food scale, in addition to a portable scale would be an ideal setup, but you only truly need a durable digital kitchen food scale.

    2. Measure the food in grams.

    3. Get a smartphone app such as MyNetDiary, find the food in the database, and enter the weight in grams. The amount of carbohydrates will be listed in the calculation. MyNetDiary also lets you scan a barcode of a food, too.

    Note: I am not up-to-date on nutritional smartphone apps. There are also scales out now that can transmit the weight of the food automatically via Bluetooth to a phone, but this costs much more and there is proprietary software that you must rely on, which presents problems. I do not think that using a conventional digital food scale and manually entering in weight in grams is that much of a hassle or is inconvenient.
     
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

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    Well, there are two parts to this. You'll need some way to measure the portion at first. Most people feel that a food scale gives the most accurate measure over volume measures. Then you need a carb factor, meaning what % of each gram of food is made up of carbs. So bread and cakes tend to have carb factors of about .5 or .55. If I weigh the bagel and it's weight is 80g and I know the carb factor is .55 then the carb count of that bagel is 80x.55= 44 g of carbs.

    Generally speaking, I've found my food scale to be my best tool, though I don't use it for everything (and I've tried to avoid being all up in her face about it because I think weighing food is not exactly in sync with a healthy attitude toward food), but it is helpful when it comes to carbs, especially for cereal, fruit, breads and pasta. My scale has a built in food nutrition data base and for other things I just keep a running list of frequently eaten foods.

    I'll have to let others chime in about Apps, just wanted to mention that "single serving" carb counts can be really inaccurate. ;-)
     
  4. mocha

    mocha Approved members

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    You are allowed to measure everything out, especially right now. Eventually you will become masters in SWAG (Stupid Wild-A$$ Guess(ing)), and it's a very neat party trick. I'm always impressing my husband with my guess of how many carbs/calories his food has. :p

    Many fitness apps have carb counts. I have My Fitness Pal on my phone. I know people love (used to love? I haven't heard it mentioned in ages) the Calorie King books.

    It's hard, and it takes a long time to get really good at eyeballing food and being able to look at s plate a go "65 grams of carbs!", but it does get easier.
     
  5. Mommy For Life

    Mommy For Life Approved members

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    We don't use any apps, but google has a fairly reliable carb search for your basic foods. Can't say enough about a good digital kitchen scale. We have one with built in database. My daughter uses it all the time. I use it frequently when I bake. I figure out the carb factor for say the flour weigh it out and times weight by carb factor to get total carb...then add that to my running tally of carbs for recipe then divide that # by total servings. Initially using a scale, carb factors and measuring cups may seem cumbersome, but after a while you will be able to guesstimate the carbs when you are out and about. Look online for more info on carb factors. I write the carb factor on all packaged goods ie cereal, bread, crackers, big containers of yogurt...you get the idea. This way my DD just weighs what she wants and times that weight by the carb factor I wrote on box.

    Sorry about your daughter's diagnosis. Glad you found CWD....lots of good info and support here.
     
  6. Stefanie S.

    Stefanie S. Approved members

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    We use the calorie king app a lot.

    We also have the Eat Smart nutrition scale which is awesome. Not only does it have a built in database for common whole foods, I can also program in nutrition info from packaged foods and not have to mess with carb factors. If I were feeding the girls some goldfish, for example, I'd just enter in the serving size and the carb amount and the scale would do the math for me. Love it!!

    Hang in there!!! You're going to get better at this before you know it. ((Hugs))
     
  7. virgo39

    virgo39 Approved members

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    We started with labels and the Calorie King books -- very old school. Bought several, including the large type version for home. We have a Salter scale that has a built in database (but may have been discontinued) and use measuring cups and spoons too. We use the FatSecret app and the Calorie King app as well as simply looking up information online when we are out and about. DD's pump controller also has a more limited database from the FDA.

    I have recipe software that will calculate nutrition information too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  8. MomofSweetOne

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  9. kirsteng

    kirsteng Approved members

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    Following. We're starting pumping this week, so after a year will have to truly start counting carbs.

    I used to use the Livestrong website for calorie counting, and it has a gigantic database of nutritional info as well.

    I was planning on using that, as I'm used to it - if anyone who has experience thinks that it's not an accurate database, pls let me know!
     
  10. Megnyc

    Megnyc Approved members

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    I really like the Calorie King App for restaurant food. I always tend to really underestimate the carbs in certain foods if I don't double check so that app is helpful!

    For many years we would weigh food and use carb factors to figure out the carb count. We keep a laminated sheet with the carb factors for the 50 or so foods I eat all the time on the fridge so it is easy to refer to. You just weigh the food and multiple the weight in grams by the carb factor to find out the carb count. Now I can just look at a plate and know the carb count but it takes time to get there. We also have about 10 cheap glasses that are marked at 3 oz and 6 oz with a sharpie to make it easy to figure out the carb counts for drinks without constantly pulling out measuring cups. For food that is tough to get an accurate volume on such as pasta or ice cream though it is way easier to just weigh it.
     
  11. MEVsmom

    MEVsmom Approved members

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    My daughter has been diagnosed for about 6 months. We are on MDI with a 1:25 ratio and no ability to do a half unit so for me just using a book or an app and estimating is good enough, no need for a scale at this point. I'm just going to have to get relatively close anyhow with the program we are on. I do try to measure serving sizes as best I can and check for nutritional info at restaurants. I might get more crazy about it when we start pumping, but for us now this works. I want my daughter's life to be as "normal" as it can be, whatever that means, so having her stress about putting her food on a scale just isn't in sync with that. We eat out OFTEN and she eats school lunch every day by choice. Weighing in those situations just isn't practical.
     
  12. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

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    I've noticed that people who use food scales as part of their D management do so in many different ways. Some people weigh everything, travel with scales, take them to restaurants, get one for the school nurse, while others, like me, only use it for certain food and try to do so stealthily. :wink:
     
  13. KatieSue

    KatieSue Approved members

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    We used a scale a lot in the beginning. Now not so much. Mostly for chips if we're at home. She's a super picky eater and doesn't eat a lot of variety so it was pretty easy after a while to eyeball the most common things she eats. Her go to food is chips & cottage cheese. She'll weigh the chips and I have containers that are exactly one cup for the cottage cheese.

    I think measuring with a scale and cups/spoons is great at first. After a while you kind of get things down. But I go back to it if she's having some weird things going on or if she's sick to kind of take the guess factor out of the mix.
     
  14. eloquine

    eloquine Approved members

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    My husband made one to tailor our needs (akrin.com/diabetes). We couldn't find any good one out there.
    It saved us a lot of headache...
     
  15. MEVsmom

    MEVsmom Approved members

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    I love every little gadget, so I'm sure I will buy one and use it in some situations, especially when we start pumping. It will probably have to be at home only though. I already have another daughter in a wheelchair and tons of stuff to carry with her..... food, diapers, meds, syringes, suction machine, emergency seizure med. Add the testing kit, insulin pens, Glucagon and Dexcom and I'm loaded down. I'm not sure I can add a scale into the mix :eek:
     

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