Can kids with Juvenile Diabetes eat brownies? Good question! Do you know where I heard that question? Someone found my blog with that search term. So maybe I’ll do a blog post on that subject. Let me walk you through why they can eat a brownie or any other food item. Let me walk you through why everything needs to be in moderation. And lastly, let me tell you a story about developing good eating habits.
Have you ever heard the question, “can a diabetic eat that?”, in reference to something with sugar in it, a piece of cake or a brownie. I think that is mostly in reference to people with Type 2 Diabetes (see help for people with Type 2 in page header). And that is a good question to ask, my dad has Type 2, and has for many years. My mom and him watch what he eats in detail, staying away from food with high glycemic indexes. Reason being, a person with Type 2 Diabetes produces insulin, but not as much as a regular person, or their body has developed insulin resistance. Portion control, carb control are some of the keys to controlling Type 2 Diabetes. These are some of the reasons you hear that question, can a diabetic eat this and that.
Can a kid with Juvenile Diabetes eat brownies? Yes! Let me tell you why from a scientific stand point and from personal experience in raising 2 kids with Juvenile Diabetes (Type 1 Diabetes). A child with Juvenile Diabetes produces no insulin (or very little, not enough to mention). They produce no insulin because the immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. This is no fault of anyone, and is not caused by diet or life style (see link for explanation).
Insulin is needed when anyone eats carbohydrates, examples, grains, fruits, starchy vegetables and anything with table sugar in it. Brownies contain carbohydrates from 2 sources, the flour and sugar. Since my kids produce no insulin, I have to administer insulin to them (via their insulin pumps). They have a ratio of units to carbs based on their age and weight. Do I let them eat brownie after brownie? NO! That is not moderation! They get one, and that’s on occasion! We try to feed them well balanced meals. But we don’t deny them some sweets, on occasion, because we all like treats once in a while. I’ve heard many stories about kids with diabetes becoming rebellious with their diabetes and this is dangerous.
A quick story about food choices. My girls were 4 and 5 last summer and we were at a camp out. All the other kids were getting s’mores, roasting marsh mellows, making those thingies with bread and pie filling (don’t know what they are, the look gross), and my girls had one marshmallow a piece. I had not had anything when my friend ask what was I thinking about eating. I told her those small sweet peppers sounded good. She told me to grab them. I did and put it on a roasting stick, and began to roast away. My 2 girls with diabetes sat on my lap and wanted them too. No carbs, no finger pricks, no insulin from their pumps, just waiting for dad to roast so they could eat. They loved them and said so with huge smiles and joyful words. I wish I had a video of that. Proud moment for me, my work and NON-nagging about food is paying off. Can kids with Juvenile Diabetes eat brownies? Yes! But mine don’t always want them!
Yes, they can eat whatever, but they sure don't always have to!!
I have since I was a little boy always had a limit on my sweets. I try to keep it to a minimum. 10 pieces one day a week.
I talk more in-depth about this in my blog: http://www.diabetesglobe.com/living-with-diabetes/sweets-as-a-diabetic/