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Birthday parties can be one of the most stressful activities, especially when your child has just been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. There is candy, ice-cream and junk food everywhere!
Over the years, I have been able to overcome my fear, and have started to feel comfortable in attending them. I just get ready beforehand and make sure to be prepared as much as I can.
My goal for my child with Type 1 Diabetes, is for her to be a typical, normal little girl as long as possible. Children with Type 1 Diabetes have the same dreams, desires, and excitement as non-type 1 Diabetic kids, and for us to attend a normal birthday party, just includes her and affirms this.
What Can A Diabetic Eat In A Birthday Party?
Gone are the days were a diabetic child or person, has to follow a very strict diet and avoid sweets at all cost.
I am not saying that you should allow your child to eat every junk food and candy available. Everything needs to be done in moderation. Moderation is key!
The goal in attending birthday parties is to have a good blood sugar control.
Talk it over with your child’s Diabetes Educator, if this will be your first big event after diagnosis. My experience has been, that they are very knowledgeable and have been able to guide me in the first few months, and we come up with an action plan for these events.
What Are The Best Party Foods For Diabetics?
If you are invited to a birthday party, you do not have much control on the types of food that will be served there. Some parents may ask you on what types of foods your child can eat.
In my experience, some parents have asked me, and I have always told them to not worry about my child. I do not want my child to be singled out for eating different foods.
I make sure that when at the party I dose the amount of insulin that my daughter needs for the foods that she will be consuming. I keep a close eye on her Dexcom G6 (blood glucose monitoring), and dose her based on what her numbers and arrows are telling me.
The best foods for diabetics are:
- Mozzarella Sticks
- Nuts like almonds and peanuts
- Low sugar fruits like apples, watermelon, cantaloupe, peach, honeydew, strawberries, tomatoes, raspberries, among others.
- Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, celery
5 Tips On How To Survive Your First Birthday Party With A Diabetic Child
Tip 1: Prepare your child for the birthday party
Have a talk with your child before heading over to the party. I highly suggest a few days before the party, so you can start getting your child ready in case of any opposition.
Some kids tend to be better than others, when the news about moderation of sweets and junk food is told.
In my case, my daughter knows that with every sweet and junk food (Doritos and other chips), she can have them, but it will be in moderation. As soon as I say “no more“, it means no more.
This has been working for me, since my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was 15 months old. So, we have been able to mold to her what
If your child was older than mine, when diagnosed, then start getting them ready for the party and the food that they might encounter there.
Tip 2: Call Ahead
If you are really concerned about the foods that will be at the party, give that mom or dad a call and ask them. It’s better to be prepared beforehand than have a surprise as soon as you get there.
Tip 3: Give Low Carb Food Beforehand
Have your child eat before attending the birthday party.
If they are having a pizza (which honestly it’s the easiest for some parents), have your child eat a healthy low-carb meal before attending, then you would only need to deal with a small amount of pizza.
Maybe he/she will only eat one slice, and one slice of pizza is much better than three or four slices. Pizza is a nightmare to dose and to get down, if high. You need to be very aggressive with insulin. If we suspect that there will be pizza at the party, we have our daughter eat a healthy low-carb meal first, and it has worked perfectly.
Tip 4: Physical Play
The best way to maintain a stable glucose level, is by having your child play and run around.
So kids tend to be close to mom and dad when in a public environment. Motivate your child to play with other kids.
Tip 5: Give Water Only
There might be juices and soda at the party.
My suggestion is to really avoid these, Only have your child drink them, IF they are low, or they have a double arrow down on their Dexcom G6. Other than that, they should be drinking only water.
If you do not know if they are going to have water bottles there, take your own container. Better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Going To Birthday Parties With Your Diabetic Child
The most important thing that you should remember is to let your child have fun, and just be a kid. They are children for only a little while, so have fun with them
This can also be a great start on opening maybe difficult conversations, on why other kids can eat more than them. Take the opportunity to teach them on how to manage their Diabetes during these events.
Do You Have Your Own Tip?
I always love to hear from my reader and from other parents in the Diabetes community. Do you have another tip on managing diabetes while at a birthday party? If so, I would love to hear it!
Click the button below, and submit your tip! I will be adding it to the list so other parents can learn as well!