When D (my 12 year old son) was first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes one of many challenging things to master were snacks, especially since he was not on a pump (rare for a newly diagnosed t1d 10 year old to be on a pump in the beginning). He was a typical 10 year old who did not want anymore needles than necessary. Our goal was to keep snacks in the 15-20grams of carbs range. He could do one of these between breakfast and lunch with no extra insulin shot and one between lunch and dinner with no extra insulin shot. Yep, you guessed it. Our goal was no extra shots!
THIS WAS OUR PLAN FROM OUR DOCTOR. GO BY WHAT YOUR DOCTOR HAS ADVISED YOU.
We had two problems to solve. First, during that stressful time we were learning all sorts of new information and could not remember what snacks were in that range and would allow him to feel full. Second, what did we feed him when he had already had his snack but was still hungry and refused to eat because he did not want another shot? He was diagnosed because he went into DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis), spent a weekend at a children’s hospital in ICU and lost 10 lbs (which he didn’t have to lose). He needed to gain weight back, not lose more weight.
We were blessed with a schedule visit the following week from my sister-in-law and her family. By blessed I mean BLESSED! She’s a Registered Dietitian!!!! She took my son and myself to the grocery store to shop for all types of snacks that fell into this 15-20grams of carbs category and 0g of carbs. We labeled a bin as “D’s Snacks” and put snacks in there that were 15-20grams.
Over the next few weeks we kept an eye on which ones allowed him to feel full. I took an index card, wrote down his favorites with the exact carb count and taped it to the inside of our cabinet. This helped us see what his choices were, quickly reference the carb count, and allowed me to make a quick list when heading to the grocery store. Other options would be to make a print out (keep a list on the computer and make changes as needed) or use pictures for kids that aren’t reading yet. One problem solved. Yea!
Next was dealing with zero carbs snacks. We had a really hard time coming up with these off of the top of our head. There were several resources but they were not in front of us when we needed them. Yes there are great apps for phones but my phone was really old at the time and it took too long. Again, making a list and taping it on the inside of my cabinet was a HUGE help. Snacks are personal, we all have different taste, so unfortunately this is where making your own list is the best. Here are some ideas.
Zero Carbs-hard boiled eggs or eggs of any kind, cheese, lunchmeat (we love wrapping turkey around a mozzarella cheese stick), bacon, black olives, tomato/mozzarella kabobs, lettuce wraps (filled with tuna, egg salad, other veggies), smoked salmon & cream cheese on cucumber slices.
15-20g Snacks-many individual size yogurts, rice cake with peanut butter, apple sauce cups (unsweetened 12g), fruit bowls with no sugar added (many are 6g), protein bars, Kind bars, Fiber One bars (many are 17g), popcorn, cottage cheese, apple, banana.
Often times we can find a snack that’s less than 10g of carbs therefore we can double up. It was suggested that we pair a carb with a protein (like peanut butter) and found it left D feeling full longer but he soon got sick of peanut butter. It just takes time to figure this stuff out but being aware of our likes and tracking them is the first step. It becomes less stressful finding a snack once we have established some basic “go to” snacks.
REMEMBER TO ALWAYS CHECK THE LABELS!!!
In the end we found if we put a little bit of work in now (by logging information) it would save us time later.