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I'm a complete fail at carb estimating

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by BittysMom, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. BittysMom

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    I completely underestimated the carbs in a piece of cake at a party yesterday. I don't understand how on earth it's done. How do you do it for things like cake, bakery cookies, banana bread? I assume you've all learned, but how? Twice now I've underestimated cake and last night Caroline was 322.:(

    I don't want to deprive her of treats at a party because I don't have my act together.
     
  2. Becky Stevens mom

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    Linda, its not because you dont have your act together, its because this is hard stuff at first. Youre just starting out with trying to figure carb counts so be patient with yourself:cwds: Do you have a Calorie king book? It has the listings for many cakes, cookies, sweet breads, pies, etc in there. Many of them list a measurement in oz and LBs. If you can bring a small scale with you that may make it easier next time. Most icings will have carb counts according to TBls measurements. Say the frosting will be Pillsbury Milk chocolate, 2TBls will have 21 carbs. Also, the Calorie king will have carb counts per serving of cake as being 1/12 of the cake so if the cake is cut into 12 slices then that would be your serving size to figure for. A slice of chocolate cake with about 2TBls chocolate frosting would be approx 53 carbs.

    I used to keep a little notebook with me to that had carb counts of certain things written in it for parties. A 2 inch square brownie had X amount of carbs. A 1 inch choco chip cookie had X amount of carbs. That kind of thing, just as a reminder
     
  3. HanksMom

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    You should just be proud of yourself for tackling cake so soon and roll with it. My philosophy is that the high is a necessary evil if you guess wrong and the benefit is your child gets cake like everyone else.

    I have done several cakes/sweets from scratch at home and carefully weighed/measured. I have found this makes it easier to guess when somewhere else.
     
  4. Jakethesnakesmom

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    Ah, don't be so tough on yourself especially since you're dealing with such a new diagnosis - it takes time to learn to calculate food, especially those you can't read off a label. We're six years into this and still have trouble being completely accurate (especially with baked, homemade sweets!). According to my carb counters, a 2x2" square of cake (or brownie) would be about 30 grams. This can vary a bit, and more than likely our kids are having a serving twice this size at a party! I'm finding it helpful to use some carb counting/nutritional info apps on my phone when I'm out and don't have access to my books at home. I know a lot of other parents find a food scale to be very helpful.

    Stephanie, mom to Jacob age 9
    Dx since 2005, pumping with MM since 12-10
     
  5. AmyMCGS

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    It's possible that you are estimating the carbs right and that the excitement of the party is making her go high, so don't beat yourself up! :)

    I rely on the carb counts from the Calorie King book (or website via my phone) when we are out at an event like that. I know you can guesstimate roughly 15 carbs for an average sized cookie, so if I don't have my phone or the book handy, I use that rule.

    As for an actual number, the well-worn 2008 edition of Calorie King here on my desk states that a piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (3oz) is 44 carbs. I'd go with a number close to that.
     
  6. BittysMom

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    You guys are all so good. Thanks for the support. I've always manged to feel like a pretty capable parent. It feels like very new territory not always knowing what's best for her! Hence all the "help me" posts:)

    Today is a Labor Day BBQ wish me luck. At least it's steak for lunch:)
     
  7. jbmom1b2g

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    Our dr.'s office gave us a carb refrence sheet that estimates the weight / carbs. Ex: 1 ounce of cake = 20 grams of carbs. It seems t be right on when I do it.
     
  8. NomadIvy

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    I usually weight the cake in grams and multiply that by .55 to get the carb count. Of course it's not always right. Actually, I think I'm usually wrong than right.

    Yep, you're doing great. We learn, learn, learn from what we do. It's great that you check after. We get the carb count wrong - then we treat a low later or give a shot for the high. :cwds:
     
  9. mom24grlz

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    i weigh all of Ashleigh's food. There is no way i'd be able to guess on sweets like cake or cupcakes. When i weigh them I do .54 carbs per gram for a piece of cake w/icing or .46 per gram for cupcakes w/icing. These are just the carb factors I have gotten while making our own sweets.
     
  10. emm142

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    The way I learned to estimate was that when eating at home I would first guess the carbs, and then weigh. That way I was testing myself and learning roughly what carbs things like a regular piece of cake had.

    Now I go by intuition most of the time, and don't do worse by my guesses than how I do when weighing. I think it's a really valuable skill to be able to estimate, for things like parties and eating in restaurants. That said, it doesn't come quickly for everyone - you just need practice. :)
     
  11. bnmom

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    You'll get the hang of it, don't worry - and right now...just be proud of yourself for rolling with it so your dd could her have cake and party goods instead of freaking out. That takes some guts, especially so early on - so kudos mom!

    Guesstimating comes with practice and time. As others have said - just use your Cal King book or make yourself a party cheat sheet, and make your best guess...then just follow up with a bg check 3-4hrs later so you can correct if needed.

    You'll get used to recognizing portion sizes in time - it's unavoidable! You weight and measure stuff at home regularly...and before you know it you will be able to eyeball a size serving at 50 paces ;)
     
  12. virgo39

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  13. CassiesMama

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    You will get it in time. When we were first dealing with Cassie's new dx I brought that calorie king with me every where, just kept it in my purse. But the longer we have been doing this ride the easier it gets and the more you are able to eye ball how many carbs are in something. There are times when I still get a curve ball throw at me from us trying a new place or something but over all as long as the kid is happy life is good ;)
     
  14. nyholli

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    I "suck" at guessing (no better term, lol). I still weigh milk. Too make you feel better... The other day my DD wanted a slice of the Cinnamon Bread my Step-Mom had made out of some special stuff she buys off the internet (she's type 2 and bakes all the time with this stuff but can't remember the name, it is some kind of sugar substitute). So I took a guess and gave the insulin. I tested her a couple hours later for dinner and damn near fell off my chair... 445! I couldn't push the buttons fast enough on the ping remote. PS I threw the rest of the bread in the garbage, I was so upset! LOL
     
  15. Tracy1918

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    We're over a year into diagnosis and it's still so hard sometimes. Here's what I do for cakes and such.....

    We've learned that when Matthew eats a cupcake with icing, I count it as 35 carbs. That works for him.

    So...whenever he's eating anything cake-like...I look at it and determine the carbs based it on a cupcake.

    Sometimes I get it right, yay! Othertimes, I have to treat or correct, but usually, we come close.

    Hope that makes sense! You're going to be a pro before you know it!
     
  16. Tracy1918

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    One other thing....whenever we're guessing at something like that...I always make sure to check him in 2 hours. That way we stay on top of things.....
     
  17. coconne3

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    Don't be hard on yourself. it is trial and error. Something someone once posted on here that has helped us is weighing the baked good and giving 1/2 the carbs. So if it weighs 44 gm we bolus for 22gm of carbs. Same as others have said, sometimes we are right on and other times not so :)
     
  18. BittysMom

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    I think getting the scale will help me a lot because I'm pretty sure my idea of what 3 ounces is (for example) is way off. Hopefully a lot of weighing will train me.

    The other thing with these parties is that she isn't eating on her normally timely meal/snack schedule. School starts tomorrow and that brings another new hurdle :) Thanks everyone.
     
  19. frizzyrazzy

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    It's a bit like trying to learn a whole new language. You're going to stop thinking in terms of ounces first off, and start thinking in grams. (if you have to learn this new language, might as well learn in the easiest way) It's a lot easier and a lot more accurate and most nutritional websites are geared towards grams.

    Read this http://www.carbperfectionist.com/OtherPages.aspx
    for some good info.
     
  20. lisahackman

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    Well we are approaching 5 years into this and I totally blew it at a family party yesterday. Estimated the 30 cbs for a cupcake and totally crashed her. Now the problem I had was there was SWIMMING involved which is always a wild card for her. My point is that even after 5 years, it is still trial and error and you are doing great to be attempting it! It does get easier and some times we have beautiful perfect numbers and other times we end up chasing highs and lows, but then again that is just every day life with D.
     

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