I remember reading a parenting book when the boys were tiny (way before diabetes came into our lives) where a mum had asked the author how to stop her children from eating so many chocolate biscuits. The answer was simple: stop buying chocolate biscuits. And while they’re little, it’s easy enough to follow. As a parent of a small child, you hold the purse strings and the power. But as they approach secondary school, they get more vocal, more independent and more resourceful: no biscuits at home? head to the sweet shop. Add to that the challenge of Type 1 diabetes, and snacking on junk becomes an emotional battlefield. Ban the biscuits, and diabetes (and you) are blamed for ruining their lives. Give the kids free reign, and just wait for the high readings and mood swings. When my son was on injections, the decision was clear-cut – over 20g carbs and you have to inject – so it definitely made him think twice about whether that cookie was worth it. But now he’s on the pump, snacking is all too tempting: “It’s fine, Mummy, I’m going to bolus!”
I’m not for a minute pretending that my boys prefer carrot sticks to Jaffa Cakes, but one thing that does seem to make healthy snacking more palatable is having it there for the taking as soon as they get home from school. Knowing what essentially lazy creatures they are, the strategy is to make it more simple to eat something healthy than to root out and open a packet of biscuits. A bowl of guacamole, carrot and cucumber sticks, and a handful of tortilla chips is well within 20g of carbs. Plus it takes a while to eat through this lot, so who knows, while dipping and munching, they may even sit down for a few minutes and tell you about their day.
Any other healthy snacking tips? Drop me a line below!