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 Rakuten, 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
- Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You and the Spanish edition ¡Solo pregunta!: Sé Diferente, Sé Valiente, Sé Tú
- 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
- Sugar Medical Diabetes Cases + Accessories (Save 15% off your Sugar Medical order with code “DMOM15.”)
- Myabetic (Save 15% off your Myabetic order with code “DMOM.”)
Medical ID Jewelry
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 kids, 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 its 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.
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 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.
Open Up Your Bag
Open Up Your Bag is a 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
When I Go Low
“Jax the Cat likes to play soccer, eat sandwiches, and ride his bike with his friends — oh, and he also has type 1 diabetes! For Jax, one of the hardest parts of living with type 1 diabetes is noticing how he feels when his blood sugar is low. One day, he goes on a walk to find other kids with type 1 and learns a few new things about low blood sugars along the way!”
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!
“This is a book about a little girl that was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. This book is here to help young children cope with living with Type 1 Diabetes. This book is also designed to be guided reading resource for vocabulary associated with Type 1 Diabetes.”
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
“Zeus comes from a long line of heroic dogs, and he dreams of glory as a K9 commander. But he receives a much more dangerous assignment—middle school! And as all good service dogs know, the only way to get through hostile territory is by being invisible.
Zeus’s new human, Madden, is diabetic, and he wants to be invisible, too. That’s hard to do with a huge German Shepherd at his side to alert him when his blood sugar drops. And it’s even harder because Madden makes this noise called music that draws attention. Zeus’s mission becomes clear: he must destroy music.
While Zeus’s training prepared him for his most important job—keeping Madden safe—he discovers the human world is complicated. As Madden dreams of winning the state band competition and tries to reconnect with his mom, the lieutenant, Zeus must learn that, sometimes, you need to stand out to fulfill your duty.”
The Truth According to Blue
“Thirteen-year-old Blue Broen is on the hunt for a legendary ship of gold, lost centuries ago when her ancestors sailed to New York. Blue knows her overprotective parents won’t approve of her mission to find their family’s long-lost fortune, so she keeps it a secret from everyone except her constant companion, Otis, an 80-pound diabetic alert dog. But it’s hard to keep things quiet with rival treasure hunters on the loose, and with Blue’s reputation as the local poster child for a type 1 diabetes fundraiser.
Blue’s quest gets even harder when she’s forced to befriend Jules, the brainy but bratty daughter of a vacationing movie star who arrives on the scene and won’t leave Blue alone. While Blue initially resents getting stuck with this spoiled seventh grade stranger, Jules soon proves Blue’s not the only one who knows about secrets — and adventure.
Will Blue unravel a three hundred year-old family mystery, learn to stand up for herself, and find the missing treasure? Or is she destined to be nothing more than “diabetes girl” forever?”
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.
“Poor Stacey. She just moved to a new town, is still coming to terms with her diabetes, and is facing baby-sitting problems left and right. Fortunately, Stacey has three new friends — Kristy, Claudia, and Mary Anne. Together they’re the BSC — and they will deal with whatever’s thrown their way… even if it’s a rival baby-sitting club! Raina Telgemeier, in the same signature style featured in Smile and Sisters, perfectly captures all the drama and humor of the original novel!”
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 young adult (YA) novel written by Sarah White, features a teenage girl with T1D.
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 child’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 his insulin pump PDM/meter, extra test strips, lancets, and insulin in a Sugar Medical Supply pouch. He 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 his pump supply bag.
I’m a big fan of crossbody bags. We have the Sadie Insulated Crossbody and I, uh, use it as my own! I love the many, many (many!) pockets.
We love the functionality and style of the Triple Zip Insulated Case w/ Strap (image below).
Readers can use the code “DMOM” for 10% on the Sugar Medical Supply website.
We have used the Brandy Diabetes Backpack from Myabetic. It’s big enough to schlep all the diabetes supplies, snacks, and the other things we need for the day.
They have a 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 he 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 of 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.