School lunches


My T1 son is 9 and was diagnosed last March. Since then I have made his lunch everyday except Friday when they have Dominos pizza. I was wondering if other people just estimate the number of carbs in school lunches.

For example, grilled cheese is about 40 carbs.

He would really love to have chicken nuggets and grilled cheese at school, but so far I haven't allowed it.

Please let me know what you do for buying school lunches or not.



I packed lunches for a very short while for my daughter and she quickly tired of them and wanted what everyone else was eating. What we do is get a copy of the lunch menu ahead of time and I write down the carbs that I think would be in the meal. I also make a copy for myself and then keep track of how her blood sugar ended up. This helps me know if I overguessed or under guessed. They rotate the menu itmes so if I was way off the last time I adjust the carbs the next time. This has taken time to get the carbs down well because we never truly know what a schools version of mac and cheese is as opposed to Krafts where we can read the box. Courtney enjoys it much more this way rather than eating something different from everyone else. I have also given her teacher permission to adjust the carbs as needed just incase I think that beef and noodles is all noodles and it really ends up being all beef. Her teacher is pretty good at calling if she has any questions so that helps too.

It is pretty much a learning and guessing game when it comes to lunch but it makes Courtney feel like the rest of her class, so we have made it work. Talk to the school and see if they would be willing to work with you. i bet they would. Good luck!

I called my daughter's school districts main cafeteria lady. I told her that my daughter was diabetic, and she said that she could provide me with all the nutritional information, she just wanted to know if she should mail it to me, or send it to the school office where I could pick it up. Public school receive federal funding for lunches, and state they cannot discriminate or deny food due to race, age, gender or disability. Diabetes falls under the disability catagory for this situation. The schools can provide you with all the nutritional info if you just call. They don't want you claiming discrimination since they would lose their federal funding. Hopefully your head "lunch lady" will be as nice as the one I dealt with, but they had all the info to me the next day. Since most of the standard hot lunches have serving sizes they are required to measure (again due to federal funding), you will get a really good idea of the number of carbs per meal. I just write down on a piece of paper what my daughter has chosen, as they normally have 2 options, and the sides and drink, put the total number of carbs, and what the insulin doseage should be. Her secretary would help her dial up her shots, as we don't have a school nurse. Now that she is on the pump, she does her bg check before going to the lunch line, and has her pump giving the bolus as she is waiting for her food. The only time I have had problems is when we have a "cooks choice" around holidays or the end of the year, and I just call the school to get the info. The ladies in her cafeteria also have my phone number in case the menu changes (such as they didn't get a delivery) and they will call me and tell me that morning what the change is, and I will give them the new carb/insulin ratio, and they will get it to my daughter before she boluses.

I hope this helps!


Mom of Hannah dx 8/22/08, pumper as of 9/1/09

In my area the schools post the lunch menu for the month on the school website and all the foods have the carbs listed beside them.  Have you checked the school site yet?  Also, I'm luck enough to have a lunch monitor just for the diabetics in our elementary school to check the kids plates and count for them, then send the count to the nurse to be converted to insulin needed.

Thanks everyone for the advice. I did go to the school and they were able to give me the number of grams for many of the items and then I can look them up in my carb book. My son goes to a small Montessori school and there is no nurse, so it has been a learning curve for much of the staff. I considered taking him and out and putting him the public school, but I felt like there had been so many changes in his life already last spring with the T1 diagnosis, I didn't want to disrupt his life any further.

Thanks everyone for great advice!




It looks as if you may have already resolved your problem, but I wanted to add that your school likely does receive federal funding (although it is private) and therefore your school is subject to all laws as if it were a public school. I work in a Montessori school (and my 3yr. old has type 1) and we receive federal funding for No Child Left Behind. I suspect your school may as well. But even if it does not, all private schools are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act, and must provide accomodations for students with disabilities. If you run into any problems, don't feel as though you must take your son out of his school just to get care.  His school is probably the best place in the world for him right now. Just be aware of your rights and talk with the school.

Our school district actually has a nutrition info sheet for all lunch items. My 11 year old son (dx with type 1 2 weeks ago) just has to pick what he is eating while he is in the nurses office and add up his carbs right there. He gets his insulin and goes to lunch. The school has been amazingly supportive and helpful in his new dietary needs. Go to the school district website and they usually with have all the nutrition info you will need.

Ou school district here in CA does a great job in providing the diabetic families with all of the nutritional info for the school lunches (nurse sent it home with my daughter the first week and it is on their website and it is posted daily in the cafeteria when the kids get their lunch)  The rest of our school system is falling apart though!!!  We only have a nurse aid 3 hours a day and she is overloaded.  No one ever informs the playground watch ladies that there is a diabetic on the playground.  The classes are so overcrowded- 35 kids in my daughter's 3rd grade class with one teacher and no aid.

So, if you are in a good school where the staff is willing to learn and you guys figure out that carb stuff together- all the other things about your school may be better than sending you child to public (depending on where you live)  I think you are right about not disrupting your child's environment and as long as the staff is attentive and willing to learn that is a great thing.