Mom of newly diagnosed daughter

My 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 a week ago.

I have several questions floating around in my head and it’s been hard to find answers to any of them! Is there a site that has recipes for Type 1 diabetics anywhere? I have found several for Type 2 but it seems that the diet is different (a lot of lowfat/nofat ingredients).

Also, I understand that diet soda and some sugar free snacks are “free” snacks but most of these have aspartame or sorbitol and a few others that we as a family have always tried to stay away from. Is there any natural sweeteners that won’t raise her glycaemic index?

Is there a resource for coupons or discount programs for the prescriptions out there? We have insurance but even with a co-pay we paid around $300 this month for all her prescriptions. That’s not including hospitals and doctor co-pays. Any little bit helps. We have a discount card for Lantus and Novalog for 2 years now but the test strips are a big expense.

Thank you to anyone who can answer these questions!

Many many recipes here. Recipes and other stuff. Sorbitol usually causes type 1’s to spike and it causes stomach distress. Erythritol is a natural sweetener that does not do either. You an buy it on amazon and many health food stores. Powdered Splenda contains a lot of dextrose which is just sugar so avoid that. The liquid is okay.

It is good that you are thinking of managing your child’s meals. Most parents let their kids eat more junk than ever and try to cover with insulin. It doesn’t really work that well. If you avoid starchy and sugary foods you can extend your child’s honeymoon for a long time. I know someone that is not taking any insulin at all one year after diagnosis because he eats low carb. It saves the beta cells that are still under attack. Some of the newer research on cures may only work for recently diagnosed kids that still have some working beta cells.

I’m sorry to hear you are having to deal with this but we welcome you! I was diagnosed 32 years ago when I was a teenager and it is just all so overwhelming. She is lucky to have a mom that is willing to dig her feet into this nutty disease to help her navigate it. Be patient with yourself and try to just absorb things gradually. Even after all this time, I still learn new things as I go along.

There is no special “diabetic diet”, contrary to what they used to teach. However, it is very beneficial to follow a lower-carb lifestyle of eating, simply because we have to give ourselves insulin in shorts or by pump and it pools under the skin. The bigger the dose of insulin, the more unpredictably it absorbs, so if you can keep carbs at under 25-30 per meal most of the time, her blood glucose (BG) will be much easier to manage. Fats are actually low to no carb, so don’t worry about fats or calories for now. Focus on reducing potatoes, bread, pasta, rice and sweets, and on increasing meat, cheese, green veggies, and nuts. Fruit is OK, but just one or two pieces a day because they are high in carbs. Carbs are carbs, doesn’t really matter whether they are “natural” or not, or whether they are processed or not. Carbs like fruit and beans do have some fiber, which can slightly reduce the carb impact, but you can get into that more later. Just try to read labels to become comfortable with carb contents of various foods (some are surprising!) and learn how to carb count. A local dietician or diabetes educator can help with this, just ask your doctor.

Learn to embrace artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Do some critical research - this ingredient has been tested to death in various western countries and consistently proven safe. Diet sodas and drinks are usually <1g carb and are a great choice for kids. Aspartame, Sucralose, and Stevia are all fine. Fruit juices and “naturally sweetened” drinks (agave nectar, honey, etc.) are just pure carbs and not a good choice for managing. Save the high-carb stuff for more fun things…like cake!

Ask your pharmacist if they know of any coupon programs, there are a lot out there, and there are also resources at most of these drug manufacturers to help families with financial constraints.

That’s probably enough for now, but keep coming back here and we’ll try to help!

Dear Terskac,

Thank you for the sugar info! I did find some t out natural grocery store. It’s not bad, not as sweet as sugar but not under sweet and it tastes almost just like sugar! Thanks for the recipe link also.

Do you happen to know which trials are using the newly diagnosed?


I’m not sure but I think stem cell treatments might be dependent on having some functioning beta cells. I know of two adults that have received stem cell treatments. I believe they had it done in San Francisco. Both people are doing well.

We use Agave syrup with pancakes, not a lot or it can upset stomach but my kids like with pancakes and it does not seem to spike.

The JDRF has a section in their downloadable kit with contact info for help with meds and also the companies themselves have programs.

Also your insurance company may have some sugguestions or programs now that you have this dx.

Best of luck

Consider getting a CGM continuous glucose monitor. It takes the guess work out of being a Type 1. Also get the book Sugar Surfing. It helps a lot. You can also learn a lot at the Children with Diabetes’ Friends for Life Conference in Orlando in July. We go every year. All this has helped us a bunch. My daughter was 11 when diagnosed.