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Looking for small carb-counting (or diet-tracking) notebook for kid

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Jaedima, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Jaedima

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    I'm trying to find a small notebook to use to log food intake, to help my 6yo understand the importance of tracking everything he eats. We're not expecting him to maintain the records, but by making the tracking very visible, we're hoping to help him understand and develop the habit of paying close attention to all food intake. So far the logbooks I've seen either are focused on BG records, which we don't need (his BG and CGM records are good enough), or are large journals. Ideally we'd like something approximately the size of a checkbook or a 3.5"x5" notebook. Although we could hypothetically use a blank notebook, I'd prefer something already in a grid format with preset categories to fill in, to avoid the temptation he may have to doodle in it.

    Has anyone found anything that might work for these purposes?
     
  2. Amy C.

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    At 6, my son confused 69 with 96 on his meter and wasn't sure about numbers. Nor did he have the writing skills to write the letters of the food he ate. There was no way he was ready for counting carbs at school or for writing it down. It took years for him to remember what he ate.

    One he learned how to add, we would practice figuring out how much insulin he needed at home and this was extended to outside of the house in late elementary school.

    Keep teaching him at home how to determine what he ate, but don't expect him to pick it up until later. He has a lifetime to do this, be patient with the process of him learning.
     
  3. Beach bum

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    Agreed. 6 is very young to ask a kid to keep track. If you are looking for something for school, we use a index card with the food/carbs written on it. Maybe when he eats he can have the teacher or nurse work with him to check off the item? Then the responsible adult at school could write it in the log book for you. This is what the school nurse did for us.
     
  4. ksartain

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    I make my own for Christopher (7).
    It looks kind of like this. He fills in the blanks. This was while he was MDI. It is slightly different now that he's on a pump. I write this out every morning and fill in the snack and lunch items and carbs. Chris fills in all the information that is underlined, except for the correction insulin and carb exchange. The nurse does that.

    Pre-Snack BS __________ Time __________
    Yogurt 17g CHO

    Pre-Lunch BS __________ Time _________

    Lunch CHO What C. Ate (all, most, half, none)
    Ham Sandwich 20 _______________
    Applesauce 13 _______________
    Banana 22 _______________
    Milke, 1% 12 ______________
    Total 67

    Correction Insulin _________
    Carb Exchange __________ (1:15)
    Total Units ___________

    Location of shot __________ Time _____________

    Pre Bus BS _____________ Time ___________
     
  5. Jaedima

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    As I said, we're not planning to have him maintain the records. My goal is just to make the tracking more visible, so that he sees us writing down all the carbs instead of doing a lot of the calculations in our heads. We already send an index card for lunch every day, but I think it would work better to have it all contained in a single notebook.

    It sounds like there isn't a product like this that already exists. I guess I'll stop searching for one and will focus on making a home version instead. Thanks for saving me the time of hunting for something that isn't there!
     
  6. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    You are aware of the increased risk of eating disorders, emotional illness and depression among kids with Type 1, right?
     
  7. Lee

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    If that were the case, I used a magnetic whiteboard on the fridge and wrote down everything and the carbs, that way, she could see me do the math. However, she never really cared, and then with the pump, it did all the calcs for us. I guess I am not sure why you think he needs to see the math at this age?
     
  8. Jaedima

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    I realize you all mean well, but I am not trying to "force" my child to record numbers and do math. I am trying to help him realize the importance of keeping track of food. I am not asking him to write it down. I am trying to make it clearer to him that we are always keeping track of everything by writing down everything instead of doing it all in our heads.

    He used to come to us to check whenever he could eat something. Now he has lately taken to grabbing food whenever he wants and eating it. I am trying to help him realize that he still needs to check with us, by making the process more visible to him, instead of simply reiterating that he "needs to" check with us. I think it just seems like yet another arbitrary adult rule (like some of what's happening at school) that if it doesn't make sense to him or he doesn't like it, it doesn't really matter that much if he follows it all the time.

    I am sorry if I sound irritated but I come here for help with diabetes management and parenting, which is already difficult enough without having to explain and defend all my decisions to others. Working with the school and other life situations is enough work as it is. Thank you for understanding.
     
  9. momof2marchboys

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  10. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    The fact is, Type 1 is a marathon: it's a long, complicated, emotionally taxing disease. Food is a very large part of that and while I can't speak for anyone else I was looking to suggest that you consider the emotional and intellectual burden it could place on such a young child to have to participate in the onerous task of keeping a food diary.

    Many of the people who responded have been at this a long time and were simply sharing their insight, not judging.:cwds:

    Sorry if it came across to you that way.
     
  11. Beach bum

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    What if you just made a chart for him of the most commonly eaten foods? We did this for my daughter. We are on a pump, but she knew that a medium apple was about 12g and she would plug that into the pump. You could go one step farther and add in the I:C ratio so that he knows to give himself a shot for x-units. Obviously, being that young you want to monitor his dosing (my daughter was famous for inverting numbers, one time an 83 was 38 to her), but he can go and look and say "I'm having an apple, I need 6u."

    I'd say the Lily book is the best out there for what you are looking for, or you can go and make one tailor made to your needs at Staples.
     
  12. hawkeyegirl

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    We used a 3 ring binder for the first couple of years. It wasn't too portable, so when we were out, I'd just write stuff down on a scrap of paper and later transfer the information into his binder. Until the day came when I realized that I would lose my everloving mind if I logged one more carb or BG reading.

    SO, I think you should log as long as you need to do so. It really helped us in the beginning see patterns and figure things out. And then the burden started to outweigh its usefulness, and we stopped. I guess my point is that it is highly, highly unlikely that your son at age 12 or 15 or 23 will be carrying around a notebook logging all of his food and BG readings. I know there are a couple of kids on here who do, but it's definitely not the norm, and not necessary for good D management. So I wouldn't worry too much about your son seeing you log (believe me, he won't pay any attention), and I would just find something that works for you while you are shouldering the D-care work. :)
     
  13. mamattorney

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    I'm not 100% sure what you are looking for, but for lunches I made a table with all the lunch foods she eats with carb counts and a few blank lines for "other" things and it had a line for total at the bottom. I circle what she has for lunch that day and total things up, write the current I:C ratio on there and the final insulin amount.

    At home, I bought a tiny spiral notebook and used it for a little while to track all the things she ate. I remember better by writing things down and I could look back at previous meals for carb counts so I didn't have to do the figuring all over again. It didn't have grids or anything, it was just unlined paper.

    But these things were more for my convenience. I do keep up with Blue Loop, but I stopped the notebook after I filled it. I'm sure it would be better to keep track of what she ate instead of just the carb count because it would help me see if she's always high at lunch after eating X for breakfast, but it was too much record keeping for myself. Something had to give (and I'm only 6 months in) and that notebook was it . . .
     
  14. virgo39

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    I think people are confused because it sounds like you wanted the book for him--at least that's how I read your original post. Honestly, if you are keeping track of what he eats at home and sending carb counts for school, he is going to get that.

    This is us, except the ending "Until the day came when I realized that my beautifully organized my binders and data sheets created only an illusion that I had some control.":rolleyes:

    We used regular college ruled paper, one sheet for each day and recorded time, BG, corrections, carbs, dosages, illness, etc. I suppose you could do something similar in a smaller spiral notebook.

    I use a form that DD takes to school for the nurse that has the carbs in her lunch. We still keep a less formal three-ring binder in the kitchen to keep track of carb calculations as we go and for the babysitter to make notes.
     
  15. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Ok, so the highly visible log is all about showing him how important it is to count carbs... only all he's going to see really is mom and dad obsessively documenting his "food intake".

    He's 6 - if he's snacking without your knowledge then you have a kid issue, not a D issue. If he didn't have D would you be ok with him snacking without you knowing?

    All I'm saying is that Type 1 provides endless opportunities to feel judged, quantified, assessed and found to be at fault. I'd highly recommend rethinking involving a 6 year old in visibly measuring and documenting food "intake" and instead focus on access to and schedule of snacks.

    I really do mean well - I'm offering my insight, really not looking to judge. :cwds:
     
  16. mmgirls

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    I also like the frog log although I do use a sharpie to rearrange the columns to better suit time/BG/units given for logging.

    So we make a carb sheet for each school meal but also write in the log book. The nurse or clinical aide has their own school documentation but the write in down in my log too and make notes if other carbs are consumed.
     
  17. kiwikid

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  18. nanhsot

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    To be clear, you want a visual reminder of sorts, that shows what he ate and insulin needed? It's not technically a log to keep with BG and such, just food and insulin?

    I think I'd buy a nice whiteboard and put it on or near the fridge, draw lines with a sharpie on it and just fill it in day to day. If it's not the trends you need to display, why bog him down with those type details. Go to the kitchen for a snack, there it is, write it down and let me know, etc.

    Personally I'd buy one big enough to encourage doodling at the bottom, just stay out of the grid needed.

    Edited to add now that I've read other replies: we logged for maybe half a year, then found it unnecessary and taxing. Be careful not to burn yourself out, logging is useful during times of change needed, to puzzle out problems, or just to get a grip on things when it's not going well. Other than the first 6 months of learning time, I found logging to be more trouble than it was worth and management didn't suffer when we stopped. So I think it's a great idea to "log" daily numbers so he sees that food in=insulin, plus it allows him to begin to see the patterns and develop a feel for carb counting, but I wouldn't meticulously involve him in the minutia of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013

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