Picky Eaters?

Hi, all…

My daughter, almost 4 y.o., diagnosed almost a year ago used to be such a good eater. Now, what she liked last week she refuses to eat this week. It’s becoming harder and harder to get her to eat anything but peanut butter sandwiches and applesauce! My dilemma is that it’s also getting harder and harder to make up the nutrition and amount of carbs she is dosed for at dinner. She pretty much eats the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day with a few variations which is why I’m so dead-set on getting her to eat some variety for dinner. I do make up as much as I can with fruit and almond milk but don’t want to give her only that b/c I’m concerned she’ll spike. Does anyone dose after a meal for their preschooler based on what they have eaten? I’m considering trying it and would love someone else’s perspective. Of course we’d have to come up with a totally different insulin dose based on units/carb, right? In the back of my mind I think they gave us a factor like that a while back…I just haven’t had much occasion to use it. Any input would be great!

Hi Cobi,
Before we started pumping we would sometimes dose Matthew after he ate (especially when trying a new food or at a restaurant, you just don’t know how much they’ll eat). We used the same carb ratio. I didn’t really see a difference in his BG numbers. I know a few people with preschoolers who does after every meal because their eating habits are so unpredictable.
Take Care

My son has ate pb&j daily since he was about 3 yrs old and is now 10. Infact sad as it is, the day he was diagnosed, he was laying on the hospital bed with IV in his arm and he said, “Mom, does this mean I’ll never be able to eat my PB&J again?” - and his dr. reassured him not much will change other than he will have to choose between the cake or the ice cream at parties cause his body can’t manage the amount of sugar in both, he’ll have to pass on juice and eat the candy with his meals. Other than that, 10 blood tests a day and 4 or 5 shots and your good. But back to the picky eater question; he has a limited diet and his doctor tells us we are lucky because we have most of the options memorized for carb info. I have a hard time getting in the vegetables, but I really hate the daily battles and food fights and have tried to find some sort of balance. I recommend the read “Sweet Kids” it is an ADA book. I do sometimes split the insulin. Pumping will make all this easier I’m sure. My son uses the insulin pen and doesn’t complain about the shots. We sometimes split the dose as you mention. It’s a tough one to manage. Hang in there.

Thanks for the input! I’ve resigned myself to the “sameness” for the first two meals of the day. She’s a little more flexible for snack…will eat fruit, cheese, crackers, yogurt, nuts, some veggies so I try to make sure her diet is at least a little bit balanced there. I’m really grateful that she’ll eat salad, too! Maybe I’m just worrying for nothing. Part of the problem, too is that we (the adults) end up eating the same 5 things that she will eat over and over and over. I’m resisting being the short order cook and maybe I’ll just have to give in and be the short order cook fixing two different dinners. Add that to my “resume”…

First, as mother of four, I’d say that a four year old being a picky eater has nothing to do with diabetes! All of my kids were adventurous eaters as toddlers—two of them seemed to randomly decide at that around 4 that they’d only eat carrots, mac&cheese and a couple of other things. argh! Other two still eat a wide range of foods.

Abbie, 7, is a pretty good eater, but at this age still can’t predict what she needs to eat. Like you, at breakfast and lunch she eats the same foods (and amounts) most days. Dinner is a total crapshoot. So we generally dose her for 25 carbs before dinner and then once she’s actually eaten, make up the rest. She’s on a pump now which makes it easier, but we did the same thing when she was on shots.

Good luck – you son is at the age when he’s really going to try to assert his independence! good luck.


Eric is 2 1/2 and will eat PB&J, yogurt, chicken nuggets, milk, french fries, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, and grilled cheese. That’s it. I try to offer him other foods and he emphatically refuses. I have been dosing after meals since we started because he’s so unpredictable (he was only 18 mos when Dx’d, and still nursing part-time), so I feel your pain, and right now we’re in the process of switching to pre-meal dosing. What it’s meant for us is this… a) always dosing post-meal means his sugars go higher before the insulin starts to peak, so we never check BG within 2 hours of eating, because correcting would mean stacking and an eventual low; b) we have to plan carefully to make sure he gets protein with his carbs so the food absorbs slower; and c), we have to resign ourselves to making sure that he’s offered a food we know he’ll eat if we’re serving up something he’s never seen before. Sometimes if we’re not sure he’s going to eat everything we offer him, we give insulin for half the meal, wait to see that he eats it, then bolus whatever else he eats once he’s finished. It means he’s going to go a bit higher than we’d like, but not quite as high as if you’re bolusing the whole meal afterward (it also means you have to keep pretty good tabs on what he ate, what’s left, and how much you’ve already given). A nuisance, but it does help keep the BG down to reasonable levels.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Elizabeth. It’s sounding like splitting doses and dosing after meal will be more than I’m willing to put up with. We’ve had a hard time getting her sugars consistently in the normal range and, for about two months it’s been LOADS better so I’m not willing to let her ride higher by dosing after meal right now I think I’ll just try and offer variations on the 5 things she will eat. Boring for my husband and I but, until she grows out of this (please grow out of this, Little One!), I guess it’ll have to be that way.

My picky eater has been a picky eater for 15 years! He was just diagnosed in November. At first they thought he was a type 2 because of his weight before diagnosis but it turns out he is a type 1. We were told to just keep his carbs under a certain number and let him know that if he wants “more” food he has to eat lower carb food. This is working out so far. He has added some fruits to his diet now. He eats meats that are better w/out breading too. I think it will be a slow process but if he gets hungry enough he will start wanted to add some things that are better for him to his diet. I have told him…and for those with younger kids you can show them on a plate…the difference in how much he can eat if it is healthy compared to full of carbs. To me the work carbs is now synonomus to the word crap. So if it is full of crap you can eat less. It is hard to change the eating habbits of a teenager. If you can do it when they are younger…and I wish did…it would be much better.

Hi Cobi,
I have a 3 yr old diagnosed at 13 mos. and she’s now a pretty good eater…what I did was buy a little colored tray with some divisions so I put…protein in one, veggie on the next one, fruit on the other one and bread (corn or any other grain in the remaining). So I make sure she has everything she needs protein, grains, veggies, fruit and starches. At first she did not try most of it but with time she started being curious and trying some other stuff … I think she liked the colored tray …
I started making different meals for my kids and for adults, now I make just one…finally !!!
I always try to pre-bolus a small amount of carbs (the one I think she is gonna eat) and as soon as I notice she is eating the rest I bolus for it. I have to tell you that the pump makes this soooo much easier with the tiny doses kids need… I had a hard time splitting the doses while she was on injections…
The other thing I had were little things she liked in case she did not finish her food and I already bolus for it…to complete her carb load…
The other thing that I recommend you to read is a little book called "the new glucose revolution, low gi guide to diabetes - the quick reference guide to managing diabetes using the glycemic index the authors are Brand-Miller, Foster-Powell, Colagiuri and Burani)…it really help me understand why some types of food just spike her blood sugars and others that have low GI don’t raise her blood sugar as much… I basically changed a lot of her diet, she eats whole wheat breads, pasta, etc… I think it’s a really good book.
Other thing I did was buy a Nutri Weight Salter scale (it’s a bit expensive like around $60) but it’s great to know the exact carbs of veggies and all the foods you like, it’s pre-loaded with food lists and I’ve been using it for 2 years and travel everywhere with it.
I try to learn and try stuff all the time…and these are things that helped me…
Take care.

Hello, since dx we have ALWAYS bolused after meals. THe main reason being we had no idea how much and what he would eat. We have been thru times of dinners consisting only of cookies and other times non-stop ravioli. But I will admit, and this will sound so horrible, there were times where we forced him to eat. We got to this point when we realized he was dictating our every move with food choices that we were basically becoming short order cooks offering a buffet of foods. All this went on for about 6 mths suddenly he settled down a little so we backed off. More and more he became easier to feed. I think overall it took over a year to get him to where he is today. He will pretty much each anything now. If Im eating it he will usually try it even though he wont like it. Today, we dont force him to eat anymore, especially when hes sick. He tends to give it right back. But because of the feeding issues at first, we have always had good luck with dosing after meals.

I dose my son after he eats (he’s 4 also) some times 1/2 way through and at the end of the meal if he’s eating really slow. I think the picky eatting is just an age thing, all you can do is continue to offer her an array of choices and encourage her to try new foods!

Hi. Something I would like to share and works well for snack is low carb or “Wellness” - stuffed with chicken, pepperoni & cheese, ham, egg or whatever. Some of them only have 5 carbs, and other varieties 10. Works well at school and seems to fill him up (mine seems always hungry no matter what). Just thought I would pass it on. Also can make quesidillas with these : )

I did try to dose one time based upon what he ate, and that did not work for us - much easier to try to plan out the carbs and stick with the same ranges every day for each meal.

Before we started the pump we waited until after our daughter was done with her dinner to give her shot. Does your daughter like pasta? You could do a whole grain pasta with olive oil and parmesan cheese and then try it another night with spaghetti sauce and meatballs. I use either turkey meatballs (pre-cooked!) or regular meatballs from the grocery store. When she was first diagnosed, I would cook a huge pot of whole grain pasta, then add different stuff each night to it (olive oil and parmesan, tomato sauce, shredded chicken, shrimp,) that way you don’t have to cook something “new” each night!

Hi, Cobi,
I read your post with interest because I’m going through the same thing right now. What Elisabeth used to eat she no longer does, and I feel the only fruit she’ll eat is low-sugar applesauce! Scrambled eggs, whole wheat toast, turkey sausage, oatmeal, grilled cheese and toasted chicken nuggets round out the rest of her menu! I basically make a variation of these items daily and try to offer new foods, but I am in the same boat. She is 4 years old, diagnosed at 15 mo. We always dosed AFTER meals, but have recently tried to half dose with the pump before she eats and then follow up with the remaining carbs afterwards. This is due to her starting the CGM recently and me seeing the huge meal spikes on the graph. The endo agreed that we could start pre-dosing, which has really helped.
I have read about kids’ bento boxes which are really cute and kids like to have little portions in them. I noted this article which had a lot of healthy food ideas. It’s worth a look!


Take care~

Great link! I have come to terms with the fact that I will, for the time being, have to be a short order cook for her. It’s not that much more work and, thank God, I get to be a stay at home Mom so it’s do-able. Not great but do-able. But I’m always looking for more ideas about what to feed her so thanks for the link! Good luck to you, too…

i do a lot of what many of the parents have said they do…i try and bolus a bit before the meal and then catch up the rest…and if by chance i bolus and then throws a fit and doesn’t eat…juice. lol.
however, my son ben, 3…will only eat hot dogs and granola bars right now!!! luckily for breakfast he has oatmeal squares cereal with milk, but my lord my kid is going to turn into a hotdog. unfortunatly he likes the bun, too…lol.

tonight we did have spaghetti…his HAD to be plain with parmesean cheese. hold your excitment, please!!

a lot of this is trial and error. i have tried many new things since joining this site. sometimes if i’m finding myself in a pickle, i search for a post that is similar to what i’m going through with ben and try a new approach. some are a win, some not.

hopefully our insurance will approve a cgm (we’re waiting for the final say) and things can be a bit more controlled.
have you talked to your endo about a pump? with a young kiddo…they are amazing.

We have talked about a pump but my daughter is not a fan. She had a cgm trial for a week and HATED having anything attached to her. So we wait. :frowning:

Good luck to you with the hot dogs and granola bars! LOL…Taylor goes through periods like that, too. Right now her thing is telling me all the things she used to like but doesn’t any more… sigh

Hi, I’m not sure how old your daughter is, but I didn’t really give Elisabeth a choice on the CGM and she was too young to care when she got her pump (18 mo). We just started the CGM recently, I put the sensor on her upper glut where she isn’t really aware of it during the day and forgets about it. With the integrated system it’s not bad in that she’s already wearing the pump.

Oops…gotta run, crying in the bed…time for a BG check.