Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution and kids


I have a 5 year old Type 1 diagnosed in January 2007 who is still honeymooning. I’m currently reading Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution and finding that it is very restricting in carbs. I’m not sure I can implement this program with my 5 year old although he does make a pretty persuasive case for doing so.

Has anyone in this network tried using this diet with a child and been successful? I’ve heard that it is not good to limit carbs in a growing child.

Also, the book states that you can pretty much postpone ending the honeymoon period indefinitely and I’m trying to find out how this is possible and if it is true. He does not go into a lot of detail about how in the book.

Any insights would be great.


I think Dr. Bernstein’s diet is unrealistic for anyone to try and live with, and certainly unfair to impose on a child (that’s an invitation for the child to do things behind your back). However, I do think he has some great underlying philosophy. Specifically, the idea that trying to minimize the daily insulin requirements by minimizing carb consumption, exercise, and perhaps my favorite, the “law of small numbers” meaning that when you change your diet or insulin regime in small steps, you just can’t go very wrong, whereas big changes lead to big mistakes!

In my most humble opinion, Dr B is on to something brilliant. This low carb thing works and works wonderfully. Trouble is, it’s hard to balance with having a normal life, and I wouldn’t suggest going THAT low carb for kids - they need the energy (tho I do not speak from a medical perspective, it’s only my opinion).

Even I, an adult who sees total sense in Dr B’s lower carb lifestyle, can’t quite be bothered to stick to a diet that low in carbs. I CAN see the brilliance in it though. It just makes sense to go lower carb since carbs are the foods we have the issue with. Doesn’t make it easy though, especially not for children.

I think moderating carbs is the way to go. A nice balanced diet, going easy on the carbs but no more restricted than suits you (or your child in your case). It’s about balance - sure, really low carb meals gives you amazing numbers, but it also makes you feel like you’re missing out, and makes it tricky in social situations, and darnit sometimes you just have to have crap food!

Go with your gut! in the end its the BG meter and the Pancreas that make our decisions for us… just take the time to listen to them :slight_smile:

Low carb diets aren’t fun for anyone especially a child. I’m not sure if it helps or not. My son is 5 and was diagnosed with D when he was 3. I don’t restrict carbs for him. He eats what he wants and then gets the insulin for it. He does really well with that. (He is also on a pump)

His latest A1C was 6.6 (and that was without a lot of lows).

Just my opinion, I wouldn’t restrict carbs in a growing child. He needs the nutrition and the energy.

I wouldn’t restrict carbs in a child that young. You could try to work in better carbs (you may be doing this already) by having him eat things that are high in fibre. A good whole wheat bread can have 4 or 5 grams of fibre sometimes. Real, honest to god oatmeal, instead of the stuff in packets, is much better for them. My 2 year-old (who doesn’t have D) loves real oatmeal. I put some ground flax seed on it to up the fibre content even more. Whole wheat pasta is another good one. I’ve been trying to do this with Olivia (the child with D), with some success. She’s 12 going on Know-It-All, though, so this isn’t always easy.

Hi, I just wanted to say I have a three year old and we don’t withhold carbs. We watch what we eat and sometime don’t always get what we want due to carb ranges but we work with it Shelby gets a treat every now an again an she is happy with that. ~Korin

I read this post and just had to put my 2 cents in. As a nurse and a mother of a diabetic child dx 2.5 years ago. I have to tell you I feel it is very dangerous to limit carbs in a diabetic child. A diabetic child should have a well balanced diet just like any other child. A diabetic child needs insulin period there bodies don’t make this naturally occuring hormone. You can not alter the honeymoon period in a type one diabetic. I know it is hard to accept that when your child is newly dx. But it is true. Eventually your child pancreas will completly stop producing insulin. I know it sucks but with good management your child can live a long healthy life. Please just accept your child diagnosis for what it is. Start reading about how to treat your child medically through insulin, frequent testing, and a balanced diet. A great book Ihave found is everything about juvenile diabetes, should be easy to find at your local book store. I hope I did not not offend anyone with my comments but I feel somthing needs to be said , low carb diets are for adults only!!!