We would be grieved to wear a placard or sign that read: I am a diabetic. Do not feed me. Children with Type 1 diabetes would be mortified to wear that sign. Yet, we would be devastated if some “kindly” person with good intentions offered your child something that could harm their health. To be preventative, learn some polite yet firm responses to inevitable food offers.
Scenario 1: Your child’s best friend’s mother wants to give her/him cookies as a snack and you’re not there.
This is simple enough. Once you give permission for the play date, have a private conversation with the other parent and share that your child is Type 1 diabetic and cannot have certain foods. To be polite, share that you don’t want it to be personal, because it is not; it is a matter of your child’s health interests. Offer to send snacks that are acceptable.
Scenario 2: Aunt Louise tries to give your child a sugary snack against your protests.
Thank Aunt Louise in front of your child and tell her that you’ll have to pass this time. Privately, as to embarrass your child or Aunt Louise, tell her that in the future she’s to ask you first and in private. Explain that your child’s health interests are a priority to you, and thank her once again before closing the subject.
Scenario 3: The holiday party at school that has tons of tempting treats.
Begin with a conversation with your child, reminding him or her that eating sugary sweets can make them hospital-stay sick, and you want him/her to be healthy and at home for the holidays. Contact the teacher and remind him/her that your child is diabetic and ask the teacher to closely monitor what your child consumes. Offer to send a couple of treats that are safe for your child to eat.
Scenario 4: Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner with the family.
This would be super easy if you’re the host. You can prepare great desserts and dishes that are good for your child and tasty to your guests. If anyone offers to bring a dessert, politely decline. If you’re having dinner in another home, then leave early and explain to your child that you’re having a special dessert at home. In fact, turn dessert at your home into a new tradition.
Lastly, if your child should receive candy and other treats as a gift, tell them that a condition of letting them have a treat is that you get to help them choose.
Remember, this is about your child’s long-term wellness. They have to maintain healthy habits throughout the holiday season. If you are the parent of a diabetic child, how do you handle any of the above scenarios? Are there other ways to teach your child to refuse food? Please share in the comment section.