March’s Diabetes Roundtable podcast guest educator, Susan Weiner, R.D., C.D.E., a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, author and speaker recently posted the answer a question from a concerned mother of child living with type 1 diabetes.
Question: My newly diagnosed 8-year-old refused to eat breakfast today, because he said he didn’t want a shot. How can we make taking insulin less of an ordeal — and help him understand the importance of meals?
Answer: By age 8, most kids know that getting themselves dressed, eating breakfast, and brushing their teeth are three non-negotiable routines. For children diagnosed with diabetes, there is one more item to add to this list: taking insulin.
If you haven’t already, start by explaining to your son — in a calm, neutral tone — that taking insulin and eating a nourishing breakfast will help him do the things he wants to during the day, like play at recess with his friends, do well on tests and projects, and, in general, help him to feel good and full of energy. It’s also important for your son to know that skipping his insulin may result in everything from frequent urination to vomiting — and who wants to deal with that?
At the same time, this doesn’t mean dismissing your son’s frustrations. One of the key goals of diabetes management is to make sure care tasks are as emotionally and physically painless as possible. It could be that your son is feeling bad about having diabetes, and complaining about his shots is his way to vent. On the other hand, it might be a good time to check in with your diabetes educator to get some feedback on your injection techniques (or discuss the alternative of an insulin pump).
It may also be that your son is sending you a very strong signal that he needs to feel more in control of his life, beginning with his mornings. A colleague once put it this way: “It’s very important to give the diabetes back to the child.” Here are some ways to make this happen:
Brainstorm Breakfast Put your son in charge of the breakfast menu by having him come up with a list of foods he would like to eat; the two of you can then work together on counting the carbs and creating balance. If he thinks a bowl of cereal every day is a good idea, suggest tossing in a serving of sliced almonds or adding a side of scrambled eggs to his meal as a way to add fats and protein and a little variety.
READ MORE: http://spoonful.com/type1/refusing-meals
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