I realize that the title of this post is a really odd thing to say. Don’t we all love food? Sometimes I wish I didn’t love food as much as I do! With Kaitlyn, however, it’s kind of an obsession—not just eating food, but everything else about it as well. She will sit down for hours reading cookbooks, writing her own recipes, learning about what foods are healthier than others and making grocery lists for me. She likes to draw pictures of imaginary fancy desserts, and she even has some recipes memorized. All of her favorite books are cookbooks or books about food, and she looks at them constantly. (Dishing It Up Disney Style: A Cookbook for Families With Type 1 Diabetes is actually one of her favorites!)
We’ve made several of the recipes from these books together, but she is constantly asking me if we can make more. So far her favorites have been the baking recipes. Recently we tried one called “coconut ice bites.” It had three ingredients—powdered sugar, sweetened condensed milk and sweetened coconut. Oh, there was actually a fourth ingredient … pink food coloring. Well, you can probably guess that this was just about the sweetest thing we had ever tried. Just a half-inch square was enough to give me a headache. Although Kaitlyn seemed to like them at first, because they were pretty, fancy, and girly, she realized that they were way too sweet and not the best nutritional choice for her. Cooking has been a great learning experience because she realizes what things go into the foods she’s eating. The other day she told me that she would rather have a nice, juicy strawberry than candy or sweets.
She even likes food reference books! She has one that lists hundreds of different foods and the qualities that each food has—the vitamins and minerals and what parts of the body it’s good for. She loves it! And, of course, when she finds a food that claims to be good for people with diabetes, she gets super excited and asks me if we can go to the store right away to get it.
I think many children love to cook, and I’m happy to encourage Kaitlyn in her interests. I am particularly grateful for her current obsession because it’s such a great platform for learning about foods and why some are healthier than others. It’s a great way to help her develop more independence, and hopefully she’ll continue to make healthy eating a lifelong quest.
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.