Meals should not be too rigid

At this age precise adherence to diet will probably be impossible, so it’s better to be flexible. Remember also the inevitable loss of appetite with infections. It’s not fair to make a child eat when she is feeling sick and it can provoke vomiting.

On the other hand your child won’t understand why you say ‘no’ when she wants more to eat, even though she has had all her exchanges. If you feel that she does need a little more on this occasion, it probably won’t hurt to give her a small amount of the exchange though you will tend to rely on low energy foods in this situation. Some extra food may make for peace without adversely affecting the diabetes.

Be prepared to adjust exchanges in consultation with your doctor and dietitian as your child’s appetite changes.

If all else fails and meals develop into a battle, discuss it with your doctor and dietitian. It may be better to go through a few days of reducing exchanges and lowering the insulin dose so your child gets hungry – then she will eat all her food and demand more. When this happens the battle is largely over.

Insulin injections and blood tests

Most toddlers accept needles as part of their lot in life. Some even like to help with their needles or are impatient to have the needle done so they can have breakfast.

Others have difficulty in accepting needles and get angry and try to fight you off. Explanations aren’t much use at this age – an upset toddler isn’t very susceptible to rational argument. It’s always of course important to explain what you are going to do and also to explain why in simple terms. It’s usually best, if your child is carrying on, to be firm and get the needle over with quickly. If she sees you get upset it tends to make her own feelings worse.

It may be helpful to let your child inject a doll or teddy to make it better, using an old syringe without its needle. Give them lots of opportunities to re-enact the injection scene with toys and play. Give time for reassurance and a cuddle after the injection is over even if your child did behave rather badly.


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