Eating larger snacks

For celebrations or birthdays you may want to eat more than a 10 to 15 g carbohydrate snack. This is okay, but you need to cover it with insulin. The doctor or diabetes nurse can help you find an insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio to cover the snack with insulin. Learn about using insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio from your diabetes nurse.

Not finishing a meal or snack after insulin is given

Children’s hunger can vary from day to day. They may ask for a full cup of pasta, and then tell you they are full after only eating a few bites.

To meet the carbohydrate you gave insulin for:

  1. Give them more food that is already part of the meal.
  2. Offer fruit, milk, or whole grain bread or crackers.
  3. Offer a treat or whatever they will eat to meet the carbohydrate.

Call or email the dietitian if this is happening all the time, if it becomes a game, or if your child thinks if they refuse to eat they will get a treat. We can help you to limit this behavior.

Eating school breakfast or lunch

Making a plan for school lunch is an important part of your school diabetes care plan.

  • Call your school if carbohydrate information is not already on the menu.
  • Any school getting government assistance must give nutritional information on the foods they serve.
  • Please let your diabetes care team know if you have a hard time getting nutrition information. They can help.
  • Look at the menu as a family to make sure you get all the food groups.
  • Take home desserts from class parties.
  • Choose 1 percent or skim (fat free) milk. Do not drink flavored milk.

Eating at a restaurant

Eating out is one way we spend time with family and friends. But, the food is often unhealthy and larger portion sizes than we would have at home.

Here are ways to make eating out healthier:

  • Look up the nutrition information and menu before you go out to eat.
  • Make a plan for what you would like to eat and how it will fit in your meal plan.
  • Think about:
    • Sharing a meal or side dish so it may fit in your plan instead of not having any at all.
    • Asking for a lunch or kid size for a smaller portion.
    • Asking for a to-go container when you get your meal and putting half the meal in the to-go container.
    • Asking for sauces on the side and no added salt.
    • Skipping appetizers, bread, and/or tortilla chips on the table.
  • Do not skip meals to have more carbohydrate at a later meal. Eating the same amount of carbohydrate at each meal is important to keep your blood sugars near target range.

Eating at parties or potlucks

Many celebrations involve parties and potlucks where you have no idea what is in the food. There may be times when there is no nutrition information and you have no way to know portion sizes.

  • Do the best you can and use what you already know.
  • Look for fresh fruits and vegetables, grilled or baked proteins without cheese or sauces, and whole grains.