We figured out a couple of things this week. One is that as Eric’s food preferences change, we really have to find ways to make sure he gets good nutrition. At present he is pushing aside everything except yogurt, cheese, and oatmeal, with occasional forays into crackers and pancakes—but he LOVES bananas. If we don’t watch him, he’ll take half a banana and shove the whole thing into his mouth till he chokes on it. Even cutting it up into small pieces doesn’t stop that—he crams the pieces in as though he just can’t get them fast enough. And recently I found out why. The aha! moment came when, in the course of researching an article about sugar cravings at work, I read that potassium and insulin have a mutually supportive relationship—potassium increases the output of insulin in the pancreatic beta cells, while insulin makes all cells more permeable to potassium. Eric’s banana craving is a recent event that started at about the same time as his diagnosis (he used to spurn bananas with great vigor, to the delight of our dog) so it makes me think that perhaps what’s driving his sudden embracing of all things banana is the potassium. His little brain is telling him that he needs more insulin and triggering a craving for potassium—or, now that he has insulin on board, his little cells are telling him that they want more of it because they weren’t getting enough before when he didn’t have insulin prior to his diagnosis. Maybe both!
The other thing we figured out was that many things full of good nutrients can be disguised in a smoothie. Eric loves yogurt and bananas, so into the blender they go, along with tofu (for protein), some applesauce (to cover up the tofu flavor), and some raw spinach (for folic acid). The resulting smoothie went over reasonable well, and by tracking the carbs of everything I put in, I could total up the carbs of what came out. I guess I’m going to have to get a juicer because carrot juice seems to be something Eric will accept.