A battle lost?...can I get him to eat better at age 15?

I never thought I would be a "blogger"...what ever that means. However, writing down my feelings has been very theraputic for me and in many ways I blog to my friends on Twitter ...just in 140 words or less...everyday.

My son, who was newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, has never been a good eater. When he was born he was both lip and tounge tied and I could not successfully nurse him. Oh I tried...believe me...I tried. The doctors didn't believe in cutting the skin that made him "tied"...they said that it would just stretch out on its own naturally over time. Well...that didn't help that he couldn't latch on right and began to lose too much weight. I was a new mom and the stress of it all was so high that I know it must have been felt by him and that just made it worse. So we switched to formula...also a stress...finding the one type that didn't make him sick. However, finally he began to gain weight as he was supposed to and bottles were his favorite thing.

When it came time to change and start solid foods....battle two!!! He didn't want anything but the bottle. He fought every single stage change. If he would eat a certain food he wouldn't eat it when it was more solid in the next stage. I began covering what he didn't like by making pancakes w/ green beans or sweet potatos or adding apple sauce to his food to cover the tastes he wouldn't eat. Sometimes...this didn't even fool him. He would refuse eating to the point that I would worry and give him what he wanted.

I fought to get him to eat healthier all though his younger years. Tried every thing I could and every thing I read or got advice on...I tried. Finally....I just gave up. The stress in our relationship caused by food was soooo strong it was not healthy. So I decided to just make him what he wanted separate from the rest of the family. I wanted to love him w/out all the stress of food every day.

He grew...and grew both up and out. By age 14 he was 250 lbs and almost 6 foot tall. He was unhappy with his weight but I still couldn't get him to not be a carbaholic. He would find ways to not eat the good stuff and wait for changes to have the bad stuff. I wouln't buy snacks...or have dessert and fhe still would find ways. At school he'd trade foods w/others for the junk....or buy candy from friends.

Then...at age 15 he was 6ft tall and started to bike and exercise more and in the summer...boom the weight just fell off of him. He began drinking a ton of water and wasn't feeling well. Dizzy alot...and as you all know....it was all due to T1 Diabetes. He was put on insulin...at first they thought he might be a T2 cuz of his weight and insulin resistance...but all the tests came back T1 and they took him off Metformin and continued w/the insulin MDI. He has been doing great. They told him he had a limit of 75 carbs /meal and told him to eat healthier. He tried and then ended up just following the 75 carb rule only. Well...recently he started on the OMNIPOD and we did basal testing.

Durning these tests we see that his numbers are great.....as long as he doesn't EAT!!!! So...now.. his next pump class will also be w/the nutritionist again. They will tell him how much better control he will have when he stops eating hight fat high carb foods. Will he listen to them? Will this be what finally makes HIM want to eat better foods? I even took him to a hypnotherapist that councels in food and she said...."I can't make him want to eat healthy if he sees no reason for it or need for it. He has to want to change." Will this be the thing that makes him change??

Will he start eating better because no his life litterally depends on it? I hope so. I love him so much and am so proud of all that he has overcome.....but the battle isn't over.....is it?

He reads my Tudiabetes stuff. He doesn't write on it...but he reads it. So I know he will read my blog. Then he and I will talk about it. We are a great team to fight this battle he has ....but I think... he needs to be the one to step up and take on the battle of food. I can't force him to eat right. He needs to see the need for it.

Oh, Kat, I feel your pain… I was a pretty fuzzy eater as a child, but… the difference is my mom never even attempted to make good things. We never had any veggies other than the occasional corn and massed potatoes, or the once a year salad at Thanksgiving. It took me a long personal battle to even get used to eating vegetables, love them, and enjoy them… much less fruit. It’s not that I ate tons, but… I was also having issues with insulin resistant I didn’t understand because of PCOS and Hypothyroidism. For me, success has been in one little change at a time… Because one change at a time, makes things manageable for me… But all of them at the same time, is overwhelming. Maybe that’s an exercise he can focus on… Just pick one thing for the week or month to focus on, until he has it down… Until he feels comfortable with it, and can make it his own… If my mom saw how many veggies I eat today, she’d be shocked. She doesn’t even buy the stuff… You know, she gave me Coca-Cola in my baby bottle… Since before I could even talk. I finally dumped it for good, November of 2009, and I have not looked back. :slight_smile: … I knew I had to take things seriously, because of how I saw my father deteriorate from his D… It’s scary, I know… But it made all this REAL to me. That it could and can happen to me, if I don’t take care. It was my wake up call, I guess… We can’t live lives for others, but… we can encourage, and provide good meals… and communicate. :slight_smile: … And then we can pray they have a wake up call of their own. You’re a good mom… Don’t lose hope.

Hi Katsz,

I think all kids go through this phase - believe me, I ate crap when I was a kid too, no matter how hard my mom tried to get me to eat veggies. He will get better. I started with salads, then started eating veggies, then learned more about nutrition over the years, gradually deciding that I liked more and more of the foods I never wanted to eat in the first place (I have only just recently discovered a tremendous fondness for spaghetti squash!). The real turning point was when I took a semester long trip to Cairo at 19 and discovered foods I never knew existed–felafel, lamb kebab, all sorts of exotics.

The thing is, don’t make it a battle. Encourage him to explore different foods. Maybe get him into different types of cuisines by having a “round the world” night or week (Mediterranean is a great place to start). Even small stuff, like choosing whole wheat over white bread, can make a difference. Food doesn’t have to be the enemy, it can be a friend - it’s all a matter of perspective.

PS there’s also a great cookbook out by Jessica Seinfeld that talks about ways to “hide” veggies in foods that kids generally go for, like mac & cheese or pizza - worth taking a look at, if only to get ideas about how to make some of his choices provide a bit more nutritional “bang” for his buck.

Different parenting skills that is for sure, when my mom learned she was T2 all junk in the house went out the door, all sources of money that I once had same deal - if I wonted anything I had to ask mom or dad or my granny for it. Mom did it all so I wouldn’t try and get stuff from school or other local places that sell junk. I kicked and screamed about it for two years but eventauly it got though my head that it wasn’t going to do any good so I stopped.

Years later, its a lifestyle. Yes I love my junk when I can get it, but I love my veggies and hummus more. So I think that you can get children to change, kicking and screaming all the way along - its just a matter of time and once they are use to it then its just a part of life and you really don’t know any better.

hey I am 15 also. I recently went to the doctors and they looked at my stats and told me to cut down on the carbs. It’s not hard for me since my dad has it. Seeing what it has done to his health has motivated me more to take care of my self better.

I have a 16 year old who is also a T1 and was discovered about a year ago. I myself am T1 and know what it is like to have to limit your carb intake. Like your doc said the limit of 75g/meal is a good number, I try to limit to 60g/meal, but what makes a difference in the meal is the fat. Fat slows the digestion process down where you end up missing the timing of the insulin action. Both my son and I are on the Omnipod so to compensate for high fat meals (aka Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, etc.) Omnipod has an extended bolus feature. This works great to help with the timing action. When I was just doing MDI I would do a “Poor Man’s” pump where I would seperate my bolus into 2 injections seperated by and hour and also lower my IC ratio for that meal. There are many different techniques that can help. Your son is probably seeing higher post prandial spikes and also he might be eating later in the evening which also causes a delay in absorption. We, my son and I, try not to eat after 7pm then that gives 3 hours prior to bed where an evening correction can get us within target range prior to bed time. A high post prandial and a high overnight BG is what leads to a higher A1C if your numbers look good during the day. Again, as a father of a T1, I don’t want to restrict my son. I want him to feel like his is any other teenager but with an additional responsibility of having to bolus and count carbs. Most of his friends never realized that he had diabetes. He doesn’t drink sugar drinks but for the most part he does what any others do and goes and goes and goes.

Once thing I have found to be so helpful with T1 is having a wonderful Endo. It is so important to have an Endo who will work with you, through the ups and also the downs, to ensure good control. An good Endo is there also to listen to you and not for you to just listen to them tell you what you need to do. The Endo I have listens to what I have to say and how I feel and recommends a good path and gives me the tools by which to control my diabetes. They have an arsenal of medications, techniques, and resources to find the best match for you condition. Because in the end there isn’t a “One technique” fits all method. The best words I have ever heard from my Endo is “I am here to provide you the tools and the techniques so you can manage your diabetes”.

Best of luck and keep up the good work.

We will be having what our Endo calls…an advanced Pump Class soon. We have started already to do the extended bolus thing and it seems to help. W/my son I also need to learn how to change things during physical activity. He goes from sitting and playing video games to climbining trees, biking and kayaking. Exercise plumets him. He is on the OMNIPOD too!

hmm i could tell you about how my family always mentioned about some cousin of mine abused the pump almost got a leg caught off… (never met this person). I just got on the pump, had diabetes for 2 years, believe me i did the high school diet of taco bell, burger king, pizza, and yummy mountain dew. And i learned that i didn’t know a damn thing about food when i was diagnosed at 21 You just have to learn about new food, and find new favorites, remember you can eat as much meat or cheese and sugar free jello :slight_smile: Its been two years and i’m still battling eating right… i wish you luck your help will help him (take a cooking class together)