Let Them Eat Cake!

by Leighann on May 13, 2010

While we were in the hospital for several days after our daughter’s diagnosis with type 1 diabetes, our days were filled. Her days were filled with art projects in the playroom, strolls on the rooftop garden, and chats at the nurse’s station. Our days were filled with a crash course in endocrinology and nutrition.

We learned about counting, weighing, and measuring to accurately count carbs. To our delight (and to the chagrin of the teenager who was also diagnosed that day and sat through the classes) the diet they described was very in line with the diet that we had been feeding our daughter all along. We are mostly vegetarian, eating fish occasionally. We limited sweets and junk food. We got more than our fair share of fruits and veggies.

No, we didn’t need to make any big changes in her diet to follow what the dieticians described as healthy.

As we sat in our classes I realized that there were three birthday parties on our daughter’s social calender in the next 10 days: two friends plus her brother’s very first birthday.

I asked what we should do? Do we not go to the parties? Do we let her go but not let her eat cake and ice cream?

Do you know what they said to me?

Let her be a kid.

The nursing staff encouraged us, saying that all things in moderation are okay. They said that our not-even-four-year-old needed to participate fully in these upcoming events without worry or burden.

She went to the three birthday parties. I did my best with our new found knowledge to figure out carb counts and bolus accordingly. I did my best to let her be a kid at those parties, and not a kid with diabetes.

This post is on the topic “to carb or not to carb” as part of the Diabetes Blog Week 2010. For more participating blogs, visit Bitter-Sweet.

Read my other Diabetes Blog Week Posts:

Day One: A Day in the Life…

Day Two: Forbidden Fruit or Good Hypo Treatment?

Day Three: Grandma’s Girl

Day Four: Let Them Eat Cake!

Day Five: Gotta Dance!

Day Six: A Thousand Words

Diabetes Blog Week 2010

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DebLouBed May 13, 2010 at 7:54 am

Be thankful that you have the option to count carbs and bolus! Kids diagnosed way back when didn’t have that choice, they had to stick to a rigid regime and avoid all sugar. I remember having a square of chocolate on very special occassions and on my birthday I was allowed cake. But that was it! I agree with the nurse, going to parties are a great part of being a child, they should have parties every week (and from memory with my daughter, some times they do!) 🙂 Cake = Good. Bolus = Good. Not every day = Good. Therefore, being a diabetic child = Good!


2 Lorraine May 13, 2010 at 8:44 am

Yep. Let ’em eat it!


3 Jaelithe May 13, 2010 at 1:05 pm

This is what I find most frustrating about the day-to-day reality of dealing with my son’s peanut allergy, honestly – having to tell him he just can’t eat things at parties if we don’t know for certain that the treats are peanut-safe. Unfortunately there is no medication we can give him or dietary modifications we can make beforehand to make it okay for him to eat things that might have peanuts (or peanut butter, or peanut oil, or peanut flour, or tree nuts that have been accidentally contaminated with peanuts, etc., etc,) in them.

We just have to try very hard to make up for it by bringing along our own emergency substitute food and candy, giving him treats afterward at home, etc. But I still worry every time that he will feel weird and left out.

I think you are absolutely doing the right thing by letting her just be a kid sometimes and eat that cake.


4 Jules May 13, 2010 at 4:20 pm

I totally agree and am getting more and more adept at “treats” for my son that seem really special whilst being healthy and medium carb. We also don’t avoid parties and find that he heads for grapes and fruit or raw veggies more than the cakes. That might change as he gets older! We also reufse to have diet foods in the house. Real food, eaten with respect for the food and yourself is the only way to go. Teaching our kids this is what we would have done anyway.
That photo of Q is adorable!


5 Monique May 13, 2010 at 4:41 pm

We had three birthday parties within a month of T-Bear’s diagnosis, including his own 8th. Thank goodness we’d been switched to the more flexible “bolus for carbs” program by Dr. A by the time the first party rolled around. “Let them be kids”…. ABSOLUTELY!


6 Wendy May 13, 2010 at 10:19 pm

The other day I asked my daughter if she could give away either diabetes or celiac, which she would choose.

She said celiac…because it makes enjoying food (especially birthday parties) so much harder.


She gets her (GF) cake and eats it too. I make sure of it!


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