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How do you add carbs?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Lakeman, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. Lakeman

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    Just curious.

    Do you use a calculator? Do you add them up on paper? Do you add them in your head? What works best for you, why and how, and what are some problems you have?

    If you have a child who has not yet learned to add in school are you teaching him or her to add carbs? If yes, how ow are you doing it?
     
  2. 3kidlets

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    I do it in my head.

    My daughter is 10 and I'm pushing her to take a more active roll in counting. Not because I want her to be totally responsible for her D but because she tends to be lazy! Instead of figuring it out on her own when she is having a snack, she asks me. She needs to work on her math skills!
     
  3. nanhsot

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    I do it on paper, and sometimes on calculator.

    My son does it in his head, fully. He doesn't even rely on the pump to figure dosages. Drives me bonkers but he's actually very good at it most of the time.

    The problem I have with it is that it IS inexact to do it in his head and I believe he'd be more tight if he'd actually calculate more exactly. But this is his life to live, and he has a lot of confidence in his abilities. And as I've said, he's pretty darn good at it for the most part, and it allows him to live with diabetes instead of diabetes overpowering his day.
     
  4. Jakethesnakesmom

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    I've always added them up in my head. Since Jacob is 9, I've been trying in the past year or so to get him to participate a bit more in the carb counting. Looking at the food labels is a great way to start; Jacob also learned a lot last summer at Diabetes Camp when he was 8 (they would list the carb count on a large menu outside the dining hall, the kids would add up what they wanted to eat). I still do most of the counting though; not to say I don't make mistakes sometimes - guestimating certain carbs when we're at a restaurant is still sometimes a challenge!

    Stephanie, Mom to Jacob age 9
    Dx since 2005, pumping with MM
     
  5. Becky Stevens mom

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    Usually in my head but sometimes need a calculator. I will sometimes round #s off too. If something has say, 17 carbs per serving like the bread that I use I will cut 2 carbs off for the crust as Steven wont eat it. Its easier for me to count by 5s or 10s in my head;) I think for a child in school who isnt adding yet they should always have the assistance of a staff member when trying to figure out carbs. And for older kids I think its a good idea for someone to check the math if they are just starting to count carbs. For Steven Ive tried to make it easy and always give a 25 carb snack in the morning and always a 60-65 carb lunch. He knows what to tell the nurse and its on his individual health plan.
     
  6. emm142

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    I do it in my head. I'm fine with maths, and it would take more effort for me to get a calculator / paper and do it like that.
     
  7. hawkeyegirl

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    It depends. Probably most of the time I do it in my head, but if he's eating 6 different things at that meal, and two servings of each, I write it down.

    He's nowhere near being ready to count his own carbs yet.
     
  8. Caldercup

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    I have a calculator with a magnet on the back that "lives" on our fridge, next to a whiteboard. I calculate carbs using carb factors, a scale, and the calculator, and then write them down on the white board so I can add it all up for that meal.
     
  9. MamaBear

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    It depends on how many items he's having to eat and how tired I am. I do some in my head, some on paper, but ALWAYS double check with a calculator to make sure. Besides adding is one thing, but I cannot do the division in my head. :( Brain won't let me. My daughter helps sometimes and always does all of it, right to the rounding in her head. My son is to the point where he can add up his own carbs and even figure out how many carbs he's having say if the box of cereal says a serving is 3/4 cup but he wants to have 1.5 cups. Both of the kids are far better with the math part. I am far better at eyeballing food and knowing how many oz. or cups it is, but I grew up doing that.
     
  10. swimmom

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    We count carbs in our heads, but use the calculator for carb factors.
     
  11. StacyMM

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    In my head. My daughter is now adding her carbs but we calculate them (carbs factors and she doesn't know decimal point, multi-digit multiplication yet) and give her the individual totals, which she then adds in her head, too. Monkey see, monkey do, I think :p

    She wants to do it all on her own at school so we're working on the pieces she'll need. We can send her food with carb labels so she'll need to be able to add up her foods, manage the pump and know if the dose is correct. For us, I taught her general math skills as we homeschooled so she learned this as we went along. Right now, I think she would be fine if we gave her a chart and labeled her lunch but I want her to understand the process and learn it correctly from the start so that she gets into a good habit. For instance, I'm working on having her estimate insulin now but she works with rounded numbers - 20 carbs and 100 points for 1 unit when it's really 17 carbs and 80-90 points. It's just for practice, though, to help her understand how the pump produces numbers. We'll eventually teach her specifics. I don't think we'll go independent this year but 3rd grade would still make her happy as she isn't fond of having an aide.

    If you are looking for a specific way to teach addition, find a teacher supply store and look for math manipulatives and the internet will give you plenty of ways to use them. Also, Singapore Math is awesome - try their books if you are interested in a paper and pencil method. It's full-color and is an excellent resource. Add worksheets, which can also be found online, and you can get a lot of practice. And nothing beats real-life - when you add carbs, talk through it and write it out while they watch and listen :)
     
  12. danielsmom

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    I don't do division in my head LOL....use my phone to calculate...especially when you have those in between numbers and decimals..eventually I'll get my boy 10 to start doing it too so he can learn..
     
  13. Lakeman

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    Thank you all for commenting.

    Yea, I suspect we all need to work on our math skills. While I am really good at math having gone up to calculus and statistics classes, my basic rote skills are not that good. I have been using a calculator but I realize that I don't always have one and then doing it in my head I am rusty and slow. I don't want my bad habits to rub off on my daughter so I want to teach her the right way.

    As a six year old (finished K but not yet in 1st grade) she knows some of the easy basics like 2+3 =5. But adding double digits is way beyond her. I have been reading a whole lot the last few days on how to teach addition and how to do it in ones head. For the last few days we have been using an abacus as a teaching tool so she can learn how numbers work. My goal originally was for her to learn how to eventually add double digit numbers on paper and then to do them in her head. After reading about mental math and how to use an abacus I have revised my goal for her to be able to add in her head quickly and easily within a year or two. (fingers crossed)

    Anyway, how do you add in your head? Do you add from right to left and carry or do you add from left to right? Do you juggle tricks (like 29 + 5 is really 30 + 4) or always add the same way?
     
  14. Lakeman

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    Uggh, yea, restaurants are the worst!!
     
  15. Lakeman

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    yes, we do it much more like this than like others who estimate. Which is not to say that we don't estimate at times too. And yes, we too have a calculator that lives in a drawer in the kitchen. I hope to abandon the calculator for adding carbs but expect to still need it for more complicated division etc.
     
  16. TheTestingMom

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    We always use a calculator - I trust it more than my head :D
     
  17. Amy C.

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    We do mental math with the carbs. It is good practice to exercise your brain like that.
     
  18. Tracy1918

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    This is a great thread!

    We always write it down (helps me to find any patterns with specific foods) and then add up on the calculator.

    At home, we weigh everything and try to be as exact as possible....that way we can SWAG when we eat out and I don't worry about it as much.
     
  19. Mimi

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    I am never without a calculator. :p My brain just won't do division.

    Hubby does it all in his head.
     
  20. GinaB

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    Used to do it in my head but since our carb factor now is 1:8 and correction 1:40 more than not, I use a calculator or the insulin calculator app on my phone.

    I'll ask my son what he thinks it is and he is usually pretty close.
     

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