Looking for a special holiday gift for a kid with type 1 diabetes? We’ve gathered our list of favorites from funny to practical and everything in between. This year we include ideas from I Heart Guts, American Girl, Jerry the Bear, Sugar Medical Supply, Myabetic, and Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Bracelets. Plus, lots of books!
While I think the holidays should be all about the holidays and not about diabetes, there are a few diabetes-related items that might be fun gifts.
My thought is that any diabetes-related gift shouldn’t replace a gift that they would otherwise get. For instance, if your non-d-kid gets 5 toys and your d-kid gets 4 toys and a diabetes gift, well that’s kind of a punishment for having a busted pancreas. But since some of these are high ticket items, the holidays might be a good time to give them.
(Note: Some of the links are affiliate links. When you use my affiliate links, it helps support this website and costs you not a penny more.)
(Another note: when I shop online, I make sure to take advantage of Rakuten, formerly called eBates. They have a web browser tool that will pop up whenever you are shopping at a store that gives cash back. If you haven’t signed up for eBates, I highly recommend it. If you use my friend link to sign up, we’ll both get an extra reward.)
- I Heart Guts Plush Pancreas
- American Girl Diabetes Care Kit
- Jerry the Bear with Diabetes
- Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You and the Spanish edition ¡Solo pregunta!: Sé Diferente, Sé Valiente, Sé Tú
- I am Sonia Sotomayor
- Open Up Your Bag and the Spanish edition Abre tu Bolso: Un libro de imágenes de diabetes
- I Am Not Afraid
- Zeus, Dog of Chaos
- The Truth According to Blue
- The Baby-Sitters Club: The Truth About Stacey
- Let Me List the Ways
- Kids First, Diabetes Second
Supply Bags and Cases
Medical ID Jewelry
- Lauren’s Hope
I Heart Guts
Our kids might not have fully functioning pancreii (pancreases?), but they might love this huggable organ. I Heart Guts makes several pancreas-themed items including magnets and lapel pins and this little guy.
If they don’t want to hug it, maybe they would like to throw it across the room when diabetes isn’t cooperating. Just a thought.
Like many other girls (and boys), Q loved playing with American Girl dolls and found it fun to accessorize them to give them their own personalities. In the last few years, American Girl has really upped their inclusivity game by adding dolls and accessories for various medical conditions.
We love the American Girl Diabetes Care Kit. It has so many little details, and it’s so awesome that they can now wear a medical alert bracelet, check their blood sugar, and even wear an insulin pump.
See the Diabetes Care Kit on the American Girl website.
Jerry the Bear
Q and I met Hannah and the gang at Friends For Life a few summers ago. We’ve been big cheerleaders as Jerry has evolved since its conception.
Jerry the Bear with diabetes is wonderful for younger, recently diagnosed kiddos. Personally, I feel that role play is a great way for kids to express themselves.
And Q’s brother actually played with it even more than she did! It’s great for siblings to help them understand what their brother or sister needs to do to manage their diabetes.
We are so glad to see the price of Jerry the Bear come down since it was first launched because it’s accessible to more and more kids with diabetes. It’s currently priced at $55.
See Jerry in action on the Jerry the Bear website.
Here are four picture books, two of which you can get in Spanish.
Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You
I can’t tell you how much I love this book. And I will admit that I got a little teary-eyed reading it.
Just Ask! is a new picture book written by Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor, who has lived with type 1 diabetes since she was a child.
Read more about the book: Just Ask T1D Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
I am Sonia Sotomayor
We haven’t read this book yet, but we are big fans of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor who has lived with type 1 diabetes since she was a child. If you are interested in Sotomayor, here is a book about her life.
Purchase I am Sonia Sotomayor by Brad Meltzer.
Open Up Your Bag
Open Up Your Bag is a new picture book written by Mike Lawson for young children living with type 1 diabetes or who have a family member or friend with diabetes. Zip, zip, zip…
Read more about the book and Q’s interview with the author: Open Up Your Bag: A New Picture Book for Children with Type 1 Diabetes
I Am Not Afraid: Surviving Type 1 Diabetes
We haven’t read this title yet, either, but we are excited to see a child of color featured in a book about type 1 diabetes!
Purchase I Am Not Afraid by Shelly Johnson.
Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, and Young Adult Diabetes Books
I’m excited that there are two new middle grade fiction books that feature main characters with T1D.
Zeus, Dog of Chaos by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb
Purchase Zeus, Dog of Chaos by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb.
The Truth According to Blue
Purchase The Truth According to Blue by Eve Yohalem.
The Truth About Stacey
If you are, cough, my age, you might have read The Baby-Sitters Club books. They have been reimagined as graphic novels by Raina Telgemeier for this generation. The Truth About Stacey reveals her secret: that she has type 1 diabetes. While they did not update the way she manages her diabetes (I don’t know many kids who use exchanges to count carbs these days), it’s great that this generation of kiddos is learning about diabetes through Stacey’s eyes.
Purchase The Baby-Sitters Club: The Truth About Stacey by Ann M. Margaret with illustrations by Raina Telgemeier.
Let Me List The Ways
I’m always excited to see a main character in a book who lives with type 1 diabetes. “Let Me List the Ways,” a new young adult (YA) novel written by Sarah White, features a teenage girl with T1D.
Purchase Let Me List the Ways by Sarah White.
Read more about the book: Let Me List the Ways.
For Parents and Caregivers
Kids First, Diabetes Second
Purchase Kids First, Diabetes Second by Leighann Calentine (me!).
Raising a child is a difficult job. Raising a child with a chronic illness such as diabetes can be a difficult job with a side order of special challenges. Leighann Calentine’s D-Mom Blog is an invaluable resource for parents and caregivers of children with diabetes. Leighann shares her family’s experiences with her daughter’s type 1 diabetes in a forum that is intimate, informative, and inspirational. In a style both practical and affirming, Kids First, Diabetes Second presents Leighann’s advice to help parents and caregivers enable children with diabetes to thrive. Learn how to automate tasks, navigate challenges, celebrate achievements, establish a support group, relieve stress, and avoid being consumed by the management of the condition, while focusing on what’s most important: raising a happy, healthy child.
Supply Bags and Cases
Sugar Medical Supply
For years, Q has carried her insulin pump PDM/meter, extra test strips, lancets, and insulin in a Sugar Medical Supply pouch. She likes color and pattern over the boring black pouches that come with most meters
All the cool kids are wearing sling backpacks these days. (I’m not sure if that’s actually true, LOL, but lots of kids wear sling backpacks.) Q used one of the new sling backpacks from Sugar Medical Supply last school year as her pump supply bag.
I’m a big fan of crossbody bags. Q has the Sadie Insulated Crossbody and I, uh, kind of stole it from her! When she’s not using it, I grab it. I love the many, many (many!) pockets.
Readers can use the code “DMOM” for 10% on the Sugar Medical Supply website.
Q has used the Brandy Diabetes Backpack from Myabetic. It’s big enough to schlep all her diabetes supplies, snacks, and the other things she needs for the day.
They have product called the Jay Diabetes Sling that would be great for tweens and teens.
Myabetic also makes supply cases for kids with type 1 diabetes such as the Love Bug, Sports Locker, Dog, Dinosaur, Monkey, Cat, and Unicorn(!).
Readers can use code “DMOM” for a 15% discount on the Myabetic website.
Medical ID Jewelry
Since Q was diagnosed, we’ve always ordered Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Jewelry to make sure that in case of an emergency, responders would know that she has type 1 diabetes. We love Lauren’s Hope because they have so many great styles to choose from and they don’t look “medical.”
Visit the Lauren’s Hope website.
Blog Posts We’ve Written About Some Of These Products
Sugar Medical: Use code “DMOM” for 10% off on the Sugar Medical website.
Lauren’s Hope: Use code “DMOM” for 10% off on the Lauren’s Hope website.
I Heart Guts: Use code “DMOM” for 20% off anything pancreas-related through December 24, 2020.
Myabetic: Use code “DMOM” for a 15% discount on the Myabetic website.
All images are courtesy the company they represent.
Disclosure: I have an affiliate relationship with some of these companies and have received free products for review consideration from a few of these companies. If it’s a product we use, I include it because we really do like it. But please don’t consider product mentions as endorsements. I’m not receiving any financial compensation directly from the companies for their inclusion here. Please read my disclosure statement.