From Indiana, USA:
I have a two year old daughter who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 14 months. We have been doing pretty well until recently. We are now having trouble getting her to eat when she needs to and she doesn't seem to want to eat enough. Any suggestions on how to get her to eat?
I do not know if your toddler's weight and height are at appropriate levels, which would indicate she is growing okay, but I will assume so. Children of this age all of a sudden determine they have power and will love to tell you so. Keep in mind their injections and fingersticks are done to them but they can control their food intake, at least somewhat. Several ideas - see if there is a support group, either via the Internet or in your hometown. Otherwise these guidelines might help:
- If your child wants more fruit juice than her serving (a common challenge), try the sugarfree apple juices or Tang, or dilute the juice with diet soda. She might enjoy mixing this. Or offer a piece of fruit - it takes longer to eat.
- If your child does not like milk, try adding the sugarfree Quik mixes, or just substitute juices, if possible those that have calcium in them, as orange juice. If she mixes in the chocolate stuff, she is more likely to eat it.
- If your child will not eat vegetables, just leave it. A simple vitamin-mineral supplement will do - otherwise many vitamins are found in fruits and kids tend to love fruits.
- If your child takes forever to eat, remove the food and see if she will eat a cracker or glass or milk later. At mealtimes, try to eat with her and talk with her. That is a special time for the two of you. Or you might have a friend of hers over. Also, you might be giving too big of portions. If she is not growing, be sure to start with small portions of foods and no more than 1 new food at a meal (and only about 1 tablespoon of that).
- If she goes on a food jag, try to accommodate that and it will wear out.
- If you speak with your diabetes team, they may feel it is okay to give the Humalog you would normally give before her meal, after her meal, when you can more closely determine how much carbohydrates she has eaten. I do not know her insulin schedule so please check with them, but we have found that works quite well and really takes a lot of the power away.
Finally, patience is a must with a toddler. They have found a new power.
Original posting 9 Sep 1998
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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