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How Much Carbs You Let Your Kid Get Away With?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by danielsmom, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. danielsmom

    danielsmom Approved members

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    Oh my boy...loves his carbs..pizza, cheese bread....mac and cheese.. yesterday he had his 90 carbs of mac and cheese.. and he did spike up to 350(and I"m not correcting yet since we are still running numbers).. now today the boy is have the same amount because he wants his Lil Ceasars pizza and crazy bread(2 pieces each I"m allowing).. You know the doctor did not tell me to hold back..he said just cover with the insulin...argh...his lunch was below 70(carrots, strawberries, hot dog(on regular bread) and chips and milk)..so right now he's at 119 for dinner....Anyhows. I"m working on getting more protein in the boy....but this is how he's always eaten....

    How strict are you?
     
  2. Victoria!

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    Our Dr said much the same...Let her eat what she wants ...within reason...and cover with insulin. That said, I have implemented some changes so that she can have what she wants but just modified. Ie; if she wants a hotdog, she gets it on double fiber wheat bread (really good, orowheat) which because of the fiber turns out to be 13 carbs a slice instead of the usual 20-30 per slice of bread/buns.

    Also, you will find as you go along, that fatty or heavily processed foods take much longer to digest and therefore, the regular insulin shot may not be enough (as with your spike) So for those foods, we have implemented the 2 shot rule...Correction and half the carb ratio dose before she eats it, the other have of the dose an hour later...So when she wants pizza I can ask..."is it worth 2 shots? Same with high carb desserts...Is it worth an extra shot?

    Be creative and you will find your way through. Know also that right now it is normal for his appetite to be large as his body repairs itself. That said, it is easier to offer smart choices now than have weight and health problems in the future.

    Good luck!
     
  3. MissEmi

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    Now, I've never eaten 90 carbs worth of macaroni and cheese, but I HAVE eaten over 120 in pizza (a lot more often than I care to admit) and eaten 80 or so of other kinds of pasta, so really the same principle. If I want a lot of carbs, then I eat a lot of carbs, but I try not to eat more than one hugely carby meal in a day. Sometimes I can't help it though, because when I choose what to have for lunch, I don't always know what I'll be having for supper. I pump, however, and do dual wave boluses for all pasta and pizza.
     
  4. hawkeyegirl

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    As a rule we don't limit carbs. I think our record so far is something ridiculous like 224 carbs. We were at Red Robin and they have unlimited steak fries. He had those, onion rings, chicken tenders, and some sort of ice cream dessert. Not our shining moment in nutritious eating, that's for sure!

    But we don't eat like that all the time. Not because of the diabetes, but because it's not good for any kid to eat like that all the time. For supper, I try to have a protein, a veggie or fruit and a starch. A "normal" home-cooked supper for him is in the neighborhood of 60-80 carbs (a smallish dessert included). But if he's super hungry and wants seconds of potatoes, he gets them.
     
  5. nanhsot

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    I find it somewhat irritating that Doctors give that advice: let them eat what they want....sure...they CAN eat what they want, but with a price. But that's true for my hips, my husband's blood pressure, etc. NONE of us need to eat that way, it's just glaringly obvious when we have to see the meter reading multiple times per day!

    I am a huge believer in the power of the glycemic index, and I don't believe it's talked about nearly enough. It has nothing to do with diabetes but more to do with overall health for ALL of us. None of us need to eat the way we do...all of us should strive for more whole grains, more REAL food.

    If you work real food (by real I mean whole grain, close to nature) into your son's diet you will see a difference. Low GI foods stick with the body, feed it and nourish it and are not gone as sugar quickly. I'm not talking low CARB, many low GI foods are very high carb such as beans, brown rice, quinoa, etc.

    Low carb does not equal healthy. High carb does not equal unhealthy. The key, in my opinion, lies in the glycemic index. Feed your son low GI foods and you will see a change in his blood sugars.

    Begin with baby steps: add flax seed into pancakes. Serve real oatmeal with blueberries. Etc. Find what your son likes and integrate whole foods into what he likes.

    Bottom line: yeah, you can feed him whatever you and he wants. But his blood sugar will pay the price. Better, I believe, to switch the whole family to a more whole grain, whole food, unprocessed food diet. All of you will benefit. Not easy, I realize.

    Convincing him to eat brown rice with lentils instead of pizza...now that's another matter. I have a 16 year old, trust me, I know! Luckily my son is very into working out right now and is very invested in increasing muscle mass, so he will listen and he will integrate changes in his diet. But he's also a bit impulsive as most teens are and he often eats Ramen noodles with his lentils....

    I'm a big advocate of moderation. I buy ice cream and pizza. Just not every day.

    Bottom line is that amount of carbs is NOT the problem. Quality of carbs often is the problem. My son has been known to consume 100 carbs at buffet! Luckily that's rare. But no, we do not limit carbs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  6. Mrs Puff

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    Totally agree! We have always eaten fairly decent, but with some room for improvement. We eat brown rice, wheat pasta, etc... We do have pizza about every other week. However, after ds was diagnosed I went through a spell of having more convenience food because the carb count was on the box! It just made life a little easier for a while. We had more hot dogs and frozen pizza than I would like to admit. My school schedule has wreaked havoc on our eating habits as well. But that is getting ready to change. I will have evening classes this fall and I will be home all day. I plan on making some dietary changes for the whole family. I plan on trying more meatless meals and lower glycemic carb choices. So yes, ds can eat anything he wants, but should he?
     
  7. Mary Lou

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    I am not "strict". I do not limit the carbs that my boys eat. However, I make sure that every meal is balanced and that every meal includes plenty of fresh fruit and veggies. When we eat mac & cheese, we do so with a salad, a big plate of raw veggies, cooked veggies & a protein like a chicken breast.

    All things in moderation. Eat what is right, and enjoyable, but balance it with the foods that are filling and good for everyone's health.

    it has to be for the whole family, or it won't work. We all eat more veggies, more salad, more fruit at every meal and that by nature reduces the amount of carbs needed.

    And, like a previous poster, if I know we are having pizza for dinner, lunch is super-heathy for balance.

    Good luck and view this an opportunity for your entire family to be more healthy and to feel better after your meals.
     
  8. Amy C.

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    I would allow your son to eat in moderation, but it sounds like he needs to eat more than what you consider moderate. I would advice you to raise the amount of food that you think is moderate. He was newly dx'd and is probably still hungry from the diagnosis.

    You also have not had the chance to get a management plan that works. Spikes after a large meal can be off set with the timing of the insulin with the food, but you haven't been taught that yet.
     
  9. Beach bum

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    We don't limit carbs, but we have only certain foods (ie. pizza and Chinese) once in a while, and it's definitely in moderation. I admit lately I've been avoiding both because I'm having a challenge whipping the fat spikes butt lately. Even with the pump...ugh.

    If we have something that's not exactly healthy, like pizza, I will make a salad or veggie tray and give them fruit too. In order to have more pizza, the salad and fruit must be gone...mean mom that I am:) I will also make sure we have a pretty healthy lunch. The girls are now at an age where they are realizing that they can't eat everything in the world, moderation is important.

    I agree with the pp's that it doesn't help when the docs say "go ahead and eat whatever you want." To some people that means, ok, go to town! They don't encourage us to know the glycemic impact of certain foods.
     
  10. StacyMM

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    I'll admit it - we limit carbs. Anything up to 80 carbs and her bg responds nicely and comes down to target levels on schedule. 80-100 can be okay if she was under 120 before she ate. Anything over 100 carbs and I'll spend the next 8 hours with a high kid getting bolus after bolus after bolus. I don't see it as a carb-limiting thing but as an insulin-limiting thing. She seems to be able to absorb and use 5 units fine but anything larger and the impact is lost. I read T.A.G. recently and while we aren't TAGgers we did change our approach with the use of dual wave bolusing and it's helped but I need to distribute over an hour to make 5+ units drop her into range. If this continues to work we'll try 6 units on occasion and see if we can try a higher limit. In the meantime, though, carbs are limited. As the primary cook, it's easy to do - I don't make extra servings of some foods and I add in filling, low carb foods. So, while it happens sometimes and she gets more (parties, at Grandma's, etc) it is really rare.
     
  11. DsMom

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    I don't really limit carbs...but he generally has about 50 carbs, give or take, per meal. It just works out that way. If we are eating out or if it is a special occasion, he just picks what he wants and I count the carbs. I don't think I've ever said, "That's too many carbs," unless he happens to be super high at the moment. Then, it's "Let's wait a little bit."
     
  12. hawkeyegirl

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    The other thing you need to remember is that your goal in all of this is really to teach your child how to do this all on their own someday. And when they're an 18 year old college freshman, they're probably not going to order the brown rice and poached salmon when everyone else is going for the pizza and breadsticks. ;)

    They're kids. They're going to eat crap on occasion, and at some point they're going to strap the feed bag on and DESTROY the Oriental Buffet or whatever. You need to learn how to dose for those occasions so that you can teach THEM how to dose for those occasions. If you limit their carbs and avoid pizza and hamburgers and Chinese food for the next umpteen years, you're really doing them a disservice, as they will have no clue how to handle those foods when they're on their own.

    NOW, that being said, dosing for pizza and Mac and Cheese and Chinese food is Advanced Diabetes. You're still at Diabetes 101. ;) It took me two YEARS to get our dosing for pizza even close to "right" and sometimes it still all goes to kablooey. But this is a marathon, not a sprint. The best thing I did in those early days, months and years is to log EVERYTHING. Oh Em Gee. You should see my logs from those months/years. (I originally typed "anal logs" there, and then decided that did not sound quite right, LOL.) They are a wonder. Anyway, it helped so much, because I could go back and see how we dosed for pizza last time, and how well it worked, and if it didn't work, I could try something different this time. About 1.5 years in, I stopped logging, because I just didn't need it as much, but it was so, so crucial for those early months.

    Anyway, this is a lot to throw at you, but my overall points are: (1) Crawl, then walk, then run. Buy a book on diabetes and read it 2, 3, 4, 10 times until it starts making sense. (2) Your goal here is to be able to send your child off at age 18 equipped to deal with "real life" situations. (3) This will not always be as hard as it seems now. I know people keep telling you this, but it. gets. better. Lots. :)
     
  13. Kaylas mom

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    We don't limit carbs either.. Kayla has a favorite meal that we eat once, sometimes twice a month that is 112 carbs. Also we have done buffets and whatnot without too much issue, but I think being on the pump makes that easier.. with a dual wave or square bolus.
     
  14. manda81

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    We don't limit carbs at all. Both of my kids are pretty good about keeping things pretty balanced. I don't keep an over abundance of junk in the house, but I don't say no either, if that's what he wants.
     
  15. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Yup. What the smart gal said. ;)
     
  16. adjomomma

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    Is your endocrinologist associated with a nutritionist? When my son was diagnosed, we met with one and she gave us some rough estimate of what he "should" eat at minimum. I think the biggest problem of ingesting lots of carbs is the absence or other essential things (ie proteins and fats) that he needs!
     
  17. momofone

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    My guy has a strict meal plan and we're finding it a total drag - he's not getting a ton of food but I'm still having to coax him to eat it because we're feeding him so often that he's just never, ever hungry. He gets no veggies because he's too full from even 15 g of carbs at dinner plus 15 g of a fruit choice and half a cup of milk. I use the pre-made ice cream cups and treat them as his fruit choice. Even getting him to drink a full cup of milk at bedtime is a struggle. And fat spikes, what the heck are those? Oh my gosh, I'm starting to freak out - should I not be giving him natural chips or white pasta, ice cream, or frozen pizzas? The poor kid never, ever wants to see another slice of peanut butter on bread. Now I'm super confused :confused: We're only 6 weeks into this, how the heck are we going to do this for the rest of his life?
     
  18. Christopher

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    I would suggest starting a new thread, updating your signature with some basic information about your son (when dx, age, type of insulin used, method of insulin delivery), and then ask some specific questions/concerns that you have and let the knowledgeable people on this site help you work though them.

    You are in the early days and they are tough. Over time you will become more comfortable dealing with the day to day things you need to do to keep your son happy and healthy. As a result you will feel much better, more confident and less confused.
     
  19. Amy C.

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    Yes, let us know how old your child is and what insulin regime he is on. Most of us allow our kid to eat what is reasonable -- either a lot or a little -- and give insulin for what is eaten. Suggestions can be made on how to have a more reasonable existence with diabetes and eating.

    Sounds like your little guy is on NPH.
     
  20. Big Hair Momma

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    What she said!:D I know it's overwhelming now, but it will be better. Our ds9, dx'd at 4, just went to non-diabetes sleepaway camp. He ate 100s of carbs per meal. He rarely eats like that at home, but he did great and had a marvelous time. All things in moderation is what usually works for us. Good Luck!
     

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