Son recently diagnosed

Hi. Our son was diagnosed in September. He turned 3 in October. We were told not to change his diet, but I need ideas for meals. He is sick of what I have been giving him. I load him up at meal times, no snacks in between. Trying to get everyone used to the change.
Does anyone have suggestions?

Hi @Ronilynn,

May I suggest that your son’s diet should be just the same as what you and the rest of your family is eating AS LONG AS EVERYONE IS EATING HEALTHY. Needless to say, he should try to eat “reasonable” proportions of foods that are heavy on raw carbohydrates such as cakes, pies, candies. Although he is special, there isn’t any reason that he should be segregated and denied living a full, active, productive and happy life.

There are wonderful tools available for helping AND GUIDING HIM manage his diabetes, such as comprehensive food content labels, blood glucose level checking devices, wonderfully refined insulins and very convenient insulin methods. And of course keep him active, let him do whatever other kids are doing and don’t be too restrictive just because he has diabetes; certainly keep a close eye on him until he knows the feeling when his BG is dropping and becomes aware that he must do something.

What I wrote may sound a bit radical. In my opinion if he starts early learning that different foods and various activities all affect him [generally] in certain ways and that he, and you more so in his formative years, can learn how best to manage his diabetes through +/- insulin adjustments. A word of caution, just because he could take a syringe full of insulin does not justify him in eating the whole, delicious apple pie; I know of people with T1D who have become morbidly obese because they could offset the pie with insulin.

I’ve gathered this philosophy over the 60 years that I’ve had T1 - many of my early years I ignored and denied diabetes. Because I didn’t really know how to live life safely [for me] I got into real trouble when I went off to college and no longer ate what mother put on my plate; of course this was long before BG Meters came into existence and food labels. with carbs, did not exist.

Thank you Dennis!
for three, my son is very smart. You are right, he needs to be aware and he is. He was never into candy, more cookies and crackers. It’s so hard to keep his diet balanced right now because he doesn’t like everything yet.
We have the calorie king book and he has a nutritionist, I am just at at a loss for ideas on meals. He is sick of the things I have been making. Although his favorites, after so many days he won’t eat it all. I mean I would be the same way, but I’m out of ideas.

Hi @Ronilynn,

My son is 4 years old and like yours, he was diagnosed in September. One thing that I have found useful when it comes to finding new foods or ideas is to follow users on Instagram who have T1D. I’m not sure if you are familiar with Instagram, but is a social app where users can post pictures/photos. If you search for #t1d in the app, you will find a vibrant community of users who share recipes, low carb foods that work for them, etc… My advise is to follow users who share a positive outlook and post valuable and useful information. Try to find moms who have have t1d kids. You will come across some accounts that are very pessimistic and negative and managing T1D is hard enough so avoid these accounts. You may get some ideas there as well as find some new foods that may help. I have discovered some healthy alternatives to regular foods, like oatmeal, pancake mixes, milk, etc.

I don’t know the specifics of your son, but my son does eat snack throughout the day and that seems to work for him. He eats breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and at times a bedtime snack. He likes milk at breakfast and bedtime so we give him Fair Life milk which is low carb and delicious, a cup is 6 cbs. Some times we mix it and add 4 oz of white + 1 or 2 oz of the chocolate Fair Life and it does not affect his BG negatively. For snack he often likes cheesesticks, ham/turkey, cashews/pistachios, popcorn, yougurt, fruit puree, fruits (berries primarily as Apples and bananas really cause the BG to spike). Make sure you give him a good mix of protein with the carbs. We keep snacks to around 10-20 carbs depending on his BG and level of activity. He is at daycare so he is somewhat active. As far as meals go, I agree with Dennis in that it should be whatever the rest of the family is eating as long as it is healthy and balanced, and in moderation.

We also subscribe to Diabetes forecast magazine which has recipes and good suggestions: Healthy Living | ADA

Hang in there. I know its difficult and challenging to deal with the anxiety of having to plan for and prep meals/snacks.


Our daughter was diagnosed in July. She is 10 years old. We did not change much in the way of what we prepared for meals, however I would say that our meals have become healthier! We do allow her to snack between meals. We try to keep the snacks to 15-20 carbs. So breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner and then before bedtime, depending where her bs level is, we may allow another snack then. We have found that this schedule works out well for us. They have a snack time in their classroom, so she is eating snack at the same time that all her other classmates are. We are by no means experts, and are fairly new to this ourselves, but you will find a routine that will work out for you and your family. good luck!

My son was diagnosed when he was 6 (last Oct 2015), he is 7 now. The doctors told us to eat what we normally eat but to limit cakes and all the big sweets. Cakes are pretty much limited to Birthdays.
They also told me he can have snacks between meals but limit it to 15 carbs anything over that (closer to 20 carbs) he would need a shot. Somedays he is so hungry he tells me I’ll take a shot for a bigger carb hit.
He is not a big boy but man can he eat, lol. He seems so much hungrier since being diagnosed then when he didn’t have T1.
Justin would eat pizza for every meal if I let him but that really throws his sugar out but he still gets it. I don’t want to feel different then his 3 siblings.

My son was diagnosed at 15 months and is now 2. We struggle with the same thing. We really try to limit snacking as we were told that ideally we should wait 4 hours for an insulin dose to completely work through his system. However, try telling that to a 2 year old! Some low carb/no carb items we like to use in a pinch are deli meats (turkey, ham, pepperoni), string cheese or other cheese, hard boiled eggs, cucumbers and hummace or ranch, light popcorn, plain cheerios, veggie straws, Mickey Mouse veggie chips, Terra veggie chips.

Hope these help!


Hi Kristin @KGreiner,

I feel for you trying to restrain or restrict an active, energetic and growing 2 year old boy healthy and happy by letting him eat meaningful food only every 4 hours. I do note that many of his snacks contain “countable” carbohydrates that may need insulin and possible delayed BGL elevation from fats.

True that AVERAGE duration of insulin in in the body is 4 hours but that does not prevent using additional insulin in the meantime; I personally have a delated action with Humalog. Just be very careful that you avoid insulin “stacking”. Each of us is different and you will need to monitor him closely if and when you try something new. And with him being an active two year old, he may be able to self balance additional carbs through his activity.

Hi @Ronilynn,

It may have already been said, but I assume you’re trying to keep from giving insulin 5 times a day. When we first started 2 years ago, they put our daughter on NPH, which was harder for us to manage, but gave her the ability to have a few carbs mid-morning.

When we switched off of NPH, we just had her have snacks that were no carbs. it gets boring and our eventual outcome was an insulin pump…(which she prefers to injections by a lot), but we did try to make it without between meal shots using carb free foods like lunchmeat, cheese, veggies and things like that.

Also, talk to your care team to see if your little one can have a few free carbs between meals. lunchmeat & cheese every day can stink, but throw in a couple of ritz crackers and it’s a party…well a responsible party.

Another cool trick is to see how much exercise affects blood sugar. If you know that 30 mins of playground time and 16oz of water will lower blood sugar a good 50 points, you might try using that to compensate for a small carb snack.

You probably already know all of this, but I thought I’d share what helped us.

Also, we didn’t change our diet much (not that it was totally unhealthy) in the beginning. We were told to find ways to make diabetes fit our life and not the other way around. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it for everyone to feel like life is as normal as it can be.

My son is 7. He was diagnosed a yr ago. His Dr, gave us a list of no carb or low carbs for snack but also told us he could have snacks 15 carbs or less without needing a shot.
Some days he is extremely hungry and they told me he could have bigger snack but to give him a shot for it. Some days he is willing to take the extra shot and somedays he isn’t.
Having 1 so young would be hard, we still have a hard time. My son doesn’t want a pump, I’ve told him when he does tell me and we would get it.