Q: My 6-year-old granddaughter is receiving insulin injections. Are there any booklets I can get that have sample menus for a child that young? She is coming to visit me, and I would like to have the proper foods available.
A: Your granddaughter can most likely eat anything that you would prepare and eat in your home. You might want to offer her fresh fruits as an alternative to desserts or snack items like soft drinks or chips.
Before she comes to visit, ask her or her parents to give you a list of her favorite snacks and meals. You can then have these items on hand, and you’ll know you are providing her with meals similar to those she gets at home.
Ask her parents if and how they provide her with special treats or meals at restaurants. This will help you with food choices if you take her to the zoo, the movies, or on an outing.
Learn her signs of low blood glucose and how she and her parents treat it. Hopefully, a low blood glucose will not occur while she is visiting, but it is always better to be prepared. Make sure her parents teach you how to check her blood glucose and how to prepare and give insulin injections. You should also learn how to give an emergency injection of glucagon to treat severe low blood glucose (hypoglycemia).
For recipe ideas, visit your local library and look for books on cooking for people diabetes. Ask a librarian for assistance if you can’t find what you need. “Cooking Up Fun for Kids With Diabetes” by Patti B. Geil and Tami A. Ross, and “The Kid’s Choice Cookbook” by Colleen Bartley and John Pateman are two cookbooks for young children with diabetes.
You might also want to take a look at the Diabetes Mall Web site at www.diabetesnet.com. This site features a Diabetes Cyber Kitchen.
Best wishes for an enjoyable vacation with your granddaughter.