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From Galway, Ireland:

My daughter was diagnosed last month with diabetes. She is 6 and a half years old. We are "new kids on the block" regarding this disease but are learning fast. She takes food six times a day to meet her insulin which is 10 units of Mixtard 10 given once in the morning. Is snacking between these feeding times with approved foods recommended or allowed or would satisfying her "peckishness" be inappropriate and why?


Having diabetes does not change that fact that six year olds like to snack. Children still have relatively small stomachs at that age and are usually quite active. The combination of these two factors generally leads to youngsters wanting snacks. You would only want to make sure that your daughter's peckishness is not related to either high or low blood sugar -- both situations can play tricks on the appetite. You don't mention whether or not you are testing blood glucose at home. It's an invaluable tool for gathering helpful information in situations like this.

Particularly since your child is receiving only one injection of insulin daily, it is actually helpful to spread her food intake rather evenly through the day. This will help minimize wide swings in the blood glucose caused by a mismatch between insulin and food. As "new kids on the block," there is much information to learn that your family will find helpful. The Children with Diabetes Webpage is a great resource. I might also suggest my book Sweet Kids: How to Balance Diabetes Control & Good Nutrition with Family Peace It does not speak about mixture therapy (since we don't have the same insulins available here in the States -- such as the Mixtard10 you're now using) but the concepts of therapy and of keeping the family functioning well while taking care of the diabetes are universal.

I can also highly recommend your getting in touch with the British Diabetes Association. I have attended several of their meetings in recent years and they seem to have some very helpful resources for families affected by diabetes. They could also probably help you find a diabetes educator in your area to help answer the many questions that will come up as your child grows up with diabetes.


Original posting 27 Jan 2000
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:08
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