My 10 year old son (then  9) was diagnosed last November (17th) with Type 1.  Flash forward, to almost the year mark, and he's sneaking food.  BS numbers up in the 500's.  I'm scared, frustrated, and don't know what I need to help him understand.  He is an intelligent boy, and he must be frustrated as all get out at being different.  I'm begging you all for help.  Is there a book I, or he, could read?  Do I seek out a psycholigist?

I just joined juvenation 2 minutes before posting this thread.  I'm at my wit's end and seek help from someone who may have gone through what we are now.  THANK YOU!

Dear Tiffany,

You may want to get to the bottom of "why" he feels the need to sneak food. Is he having a growth spurt and feeling extra hungry, but worried to ask for additional food? Is he trying to test his D boundaries? My son, 11, occasionally does this, and it usually turns out to be something easily solvable. For instance, a bad day or two at school, sports teams not doing well, or similar. Things which he feels he has no control over so he turns to something that he feels he SHOULD have control over, like what he eats. We usually come to some sort of agreement where he can help himself to unlimited amounts of certain snacks, like cheese, ham, nuts, etc, and if he wants something extra he has to have extra insulin. 


There are many good books out there for children, written by children. Have a look at and type1 diabetes. 


One year on and he may also be feeling some burn out. Speak to your diabetes team at the hospital and they should be able to give you some advice.


Good luck!




Hi Tiffany,

I'm sorry you're having a hard time with your son's high numbers. The pre-teen/teen years are a very trying time for diabetes management.

There's one huge issue that pops up for every child as he reaches adolescence and that's CONTROL. Having diabetes complicates these feelings even more.

I can't speak in absolute terms about what works and what doesn't, but I'll try to share with you what has worked for us...

Our 13 year old is a willful child and has had T1 diabetes for over 12 years. One thing we've done is to try to create an environment where Cassie feels like cheating isn't a big deal. Here's how that works: She can eat anything she wants (even if she's high) - AS LONG AS SHE TREATS IT WITH INSULIN.

Is this always a good thing? Probably not. And certainly not for everyone.

But we also let her know that HER decisions have consequences, and that SHE has the ultimate power to affect them.

We also try to tell her what the smart choice should be, and to try to:
1.) Abstain from a high carb treat if she's already high, and opt for a low carb alternative.
2.) Give herself insulin. Wait until she gets down a little, THEN have the treat.
3.) Have the treat, but be sure to give plenty of insulin (preferably beforehand).

Does your son have these choices and feel like none of them is bad or good- just different options?

We as parents can't do it for our daughter all the time. It's impossible to be with her at every waking moment. We can only offer guidance that she can take with her. In the end, SHE has to do it. It's a weighty responsibility for a youngster, and I wish we could shield her from it. But I consider our job as parents will be a success if she can manage to take care of herself (and her diabetes) without feeling the need to lean on us.

Good luck Tiffany. I know one thing- your son is very fortunate to have a mom who cares and is smart enough to try to find answers for him. Hang in there. You guys can tackle this together.


Hi Tiffany

My son is 14 - he was diagnosed in April of this year. He has numbers up to the 500's and he sneaks food and he forgets to give himself insulin. My wife was in the same state you were. Scared, concerned, angry and I learned at the parents support group at Childrens Hospital in St Louis that all parents who have pre teens and teens do this.

He is 10

Like my son your son is hungry - probably moreso from the insulin. He is angry also - I eat when I get angry so I can't imagine what its like to feel the way they do. I brought my son to a councelor (not a psychologist) - he needs someone to talk to but if you do find someone who has experience with diabetes or other dependent situations.

He is 10

 Intelligence doesn't play much of a part when your hungary and you used to eat what you want. He has been thru a lot - physically and mentally. He does not want to be different but he has to go to the nurses office and that makes him different. He friends can eat what they want and he has to make wise choices but he is 10.

Your son has been diagnosed longer but my son is a bit older. I talked to a parent who had a child who was diagnosed at age 3. He said the same thing I did. She smiled at us and also said - my son is great at this because he has had it all his life but he will cheat -  he has lost a meter, he has given himself an over dose, he has had the flu and he has been away from home for two weeks camping -  AND HE HAS SURVIVED.

We have to pick our fights. I have taken the junk food out of the house. Instead of sneaking a bag of potato chips he no longer has that option. He may not pick up an apple but it won't be chips. Keep lots of cold water in house, be patient.

THis will get better (that from all my friends who have children who are teens).

There is no book or magic anything. You are on this site. Stay on it - try to get your son on it. Talk to us - everyone here is great.

I have gotten some great info from from everyone regardless of age. There are mothers going thru what you are going thru.

Welcome to the site. We are all here for you - don't be a stranger. 

If he is sneaking food at his young age- he is hungry, I really doubt that it is mental or even a form of rebellion. Chances are his body just needs more calories right now. I'd talk with his doctor a about it and see about bumping up his calorie intake and also get an appointment with a nutritionist.

Also, please read this post from earlier.

Please try to calm down, children pick up on adults emotions and adopt them as their own. Try your best not to panic or be frustrated and sit down and talk with him. Ask him how much he wants to eat, when he want to eat, and what he wants to eat and go from here.

And remember- blood sugars are not a score card- they are a measure of the bodies needs. The numbers tell us- more insulin, less insulin, more food, less food, more exercise. It is a code to be unraveled =) and the rewards for unraveling it are limitless.

Stilledlife -- I have seen several posts of yours that include these words of encouragement about the numbers -- and I just want to say thank you!!

My 10-year-old has only been diagnosed for 6 months now and her last A1C was 10.0 -- terrible by all standards.

Your thoughts on the numbers not being a scorecard, but rather a roadmap -- EXCELLENT!! I am so encouraged about making different choices and about making changes that she needs rather than beating ourselves up about the crazy highs and the off the charts A1C levels... THANK YOU!!!

Keep up the good work. It's comments like yours that make me come back to this site. A breath of fresh air in dealing with this disease. :)