GO FISH! How To Coax Your Toddler (With diabetes) to Eat During An Insulin Reaction

My was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and when he was three. In the event you’re unfamiliar (as I once was) type 1 ciabeyes, (aka juvenile diabetes) is the kind that cannot be controled in anyway other than insulin injevtions, as the person’s body is no longer able to produce insulin, which is as necessary to life as air and water.

After a couple scary insulin reactions (what happens when your body has too much insulin) (which can be a real potential problen for a child who is ill and has NO appetite) I came up with this plan one day to keep the stress levels at a minimum (for both of us) when he was going low.

  1. Find a favorite story that has two nouns that repeat often. ( I highly recommend Arnold Lobel’s book, FABLES. It’s very funny for both children and adults, has great illustrations and each fable is only a page long with the subject repeating often.
  2. Have some kind of small finger food available. ( I chose goldfish because one of my son’s favorte stories was about a cat that goes fishing.)
  3. Have a second item that is faster acting, like a juice box or a melted juice popsicle. (Dole juice pops werer always my preference. More carbs in less the time.)
  4. Challenge your child to listen fo the magic words. (They are indeed “magic” because he’ll feel better like magic if he gets his blood sugar up to a normal range. But don’t tell him that.)
  5. Every time he hears one of the two magic words in the story, he has to race you in seeing who can eat a bite or sip of  the food the fastest. (Of course, he will win most of time)

An unanticipated benefit of  playing this  little game (which I devised out of panic one day) is that it takes his mind off the low and you can guage how well he is doing in terms of cognition, by how well he is able to play the game.

I GUARANTEE it will make life so much easier if you’re able to pull this off. My son is 26 years old and just told me other day how he remembers the game and how much it calmed him down and took him out of panic mode when fighting a low. It’s also very effective in just dealing with an illness in general when it’s essential that your little one eats.

Good LUCK!

CAT FISHING with icons

This is dedicated to Nurse Elizabeth (Betty) Pries, a recently retired, diabetes nurse educator at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago (formerly known as Children’s Memorial).

She is kind, funny, resourceful, diplomatic and just plain brilliant at her job. Navigating adolescence is tough, but add diabetes to the brew and oy! Vaht a mess! Betty kept us from wanting to strangle each other sometimes. She is loved by hundreds of kids and parents alike for her compassion, understanding and stellar problem solving skills! THANKS BETTY!

Thanks for reading this one! Please SHARE IT if you think it may be useful to someone with a sick toddler or a diabetic child.

Best Always,

Julie

15 thoughts on “GO FISH! How To Coax Your Toddler (With diabetes) to Eat During An Insulin Reaction”

      1. I know. I read Munster Mash pts. 1 and 2. Loved it! (Funny thing is, I kept thinking of Munster, Indiana which is near Chicago and far removed from its namesake.) Everything ok with you?

      2. Great! Loving life here in Germany – best move I ever made! Ha, didn’t know there was a Munster in Indiana too! It’s also a province in Ireland 🙂

      3. Ha, true! Going to start working on a book soon so I’m sure I’ll be making more frequent appearances as well 😉

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