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11 yr old son, newly dx in Feb.--counting carbs is driving us all crazy

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by ozarkmom, May 14, 2012.

  1. jules12

    jules12 Approved members

    May 26, 2007
    It gets better. I agree with all the good advice you have been giving so far. One thing that helped me for potlucks, etc. was to go ahead and look up the foods I thought he would eat that would be there - potato casserole, etc. and then I already had a list to work from and didn't have to look it all up in my calorie king book.

    I also kept a list on the refrigerator of his favorite foods/snacks so we had an easy reference sheet. We added to this list every time we looked up a new food.
  2. Tigerlilly's mom

    Tigerlilly's mom Approved members

    Dec 3, 2007
    Great advice you have received! I think that counting carbs is very overwhelming at the beginning and I remember the panic I would feel if a restaurant or food wasn't listed in the Calorie King book!!! But amazingly someone we always managed to get through each meal whether it was at home or away from home.

    Remember, if you have to guess on carbs, you can always fix a high blood sugar later, if you under-guesstimate.
  3. kiwiliz

    kiwiliz Approved members

    Sep 25, 2008
    Lots of good advice here already. We were very fussy with carb counting initially, now 2 - 5 grams either way doesn't seem to matter too much. (bigger kid helps :) ) If in doubt try and choose low carb options. If you make a mistake - it is a smaller one. We bought a huge whiteboard and wrote down all the foods our daughter liked in groups of carbs per hundred. This was brilliant when she was on injections - it also helped her maths. She would just add up what she wanted and then check to see if she needed more carb - or swapped something she had chosen for something else lower carb. It worked for us.

    I have found that for a normal portion of food with sauce eg, bolognaise/macaroni - the sauce component is nearly always 10 - 15 grams of carb. Cooked pasta is 20 grams of carb per 100 grams. Cooked potato is 20 grams of carb per 100 grams (except for chips - 25 and fries 30 - 35). Cooked rice is 30 grams per hundred, cooked carrot/peas/parsnip is 10grams/100, bread and cake nearly always 50 grams of carb per hundred - even with a bit of icing on, lasagne 15 grams per hundred, a raw apple/pear/orange is usually 10 grams and banana with the skin on is 15 grams per 100. Ice cream 20 - 25 grams per 100.
    A slice of bread is usually 15 grams of carb..

    I noticed my daughter had stopped weighing her cereal and I asked her why - she said she had weighed it before and knew to fill it to a line in the bowl. :) It does get easier with time (and as I said with size and age). Hang in there.
  4. ozarkmom

    ozarkmom Approved members

    Feb 27, 2012
    Our boys are the same age.:)

    I can see where school lunches would be a problem. I homeschool my boys and it's a constant job of just keeping them fed.

    Right now, ds, who has T1D, is on MDI~1 unit of Humalog for every 45g of carbs. In the begining, our Endo had a limit of carbs between 45-60g, but our son usually consumes more than that in a meal, which our doctor said, "Go ahead and give him the carbs-he'll run it off." The kid is 5' 2" and has two hollow legs ;) so, he's usually ready to eat again 20 min. after I feed him.:eek:
    My youngest son is an inch shorter than his brother and my oldest ds is 6' 2". When the oldest ds moved out, we thought we'd get a break on the food bill..not so...the younger boys are making up for it and then some.:D
  5. DsMom

    DsMom Approved members

    Nov 9, 2010
    Same here! I remember almost bursting into happy tears when we went to a local Pizza Hut and I was given a menu (did not ask for it) with the carb counts of ALL the food on the menu! Then, a few months later, felt like crying again when they suddenly stopped offering them.:(

    Also, the recipes in the "Parade" magazine in the Sunday paper always have carb counts. Have never made one recipe:eek:, but always send out a silent "thank you" to them when I read them.:rolleyes::)
  6. momof2marchboys

    momof2marchboys Approved members

    Jan 26, 2012

    After my son was Dx I met with the school food manager who prior to our meeting called the state department to see what she needed to have in her files and what they suggested to do. The principal wanted me to send a sack lunch each day but we agreed that wouldn't work well either b/c I would still have to know the amounts he ate each day. They have the lunch room assistants check his tray before he dumps it to see what he has ate.

    Together we (food manager and I) worked out a plan and it worked great for us this year.
    She has provided me with the lunch menu for each month including the serving size of each item ie fruits are 3oz servings, the buns are always the Sara Lee buns, the little kids get 5 chicken nuggets ect. She has gone to her ordering website and printed off for me the nutrition labels for the foods. She will call me as soon as she knows if there is a change in the meal for a day and even apologized to me one day b/c she had planned one meal that didn't have alot of carbs in it but we easily added a peanut butter sandwich to make up for it.
  7. AmyMCGS

    AmyMCGS Approved members

    Nov 11, 2008
    Like most of the rest of the replies, I'd have to say that I mostly guesstimate now.

    If we're eating out, I look up a similar food in Calorie King and go with that, sometimes adjusting a little.

    We've had two different scales, but currently don't have one. Plain old measuring cups work well for us with most things.

    It really does become easier the longer you do it, I promise!
  8. cm4kelly

    cm4kelly Approved members

    Apr 28, 2011
    We call ours "Guesstimating"

    Our term we use is guesstimating.

    I used to look everything up in the calorie king book and write it down. Then get as close as we can in carb counting, plug it in, and then do a b/g test in two hours to see how we did.

    For recipes - once you look everything up, write it down on your recipe card or an index card so you have it for the next time. I also kept my own list of foods that we ate frequently.

    After a while - you will have carbs memorized for so many different things - you won't even have to look them up!
  9. steph

    steph Approved members

    May 1, 2012
    what makes me feel better is knowing that it's not an exact science anyway. your child may even react to different carbs in different ways. for example some people don't count fiber as carbs, some count half of it, some all of it. Some people always go high after eating rice, etc. You will learn your child's way of responding to carbs. Also, on MDI you usually round to the nearest half unit, so being a few carbs off is ok. And lastly, you're going to check BG in afew hours anyway, so you can fix whatever error you made, and then you know for next time. We know we made an "oops" when we check at the next meal or bedtime, and then I make a "note to self" about the previous meal's carb count.
  10. Mrs Puff

    Mrs Puff Approved members

    Dec 13, 2010
    "WAGging!" What a great word! Sounds like what I do! I just tell my son that we are going to take a stab at how much insulin he needs to cover the food and that we will sort it out later when we get home.

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