Lately I have been trying to experiment with a few of my recipes to make them a little more blood-sugar friendly. I’m finding that most recipes can be made a little healthier by trading out just a few ingredients. While I’ve always said that Kaitlyn can eat anything the other kids eat, there are some ingredients that are more nutritious than others. I’m not going to completely cut out all less-than-desirable ingredients from everything we eat, but I think it will do us all some good to try some of these healthier alternatives.
Here are some of the ideas I’m trying:
Sugar Substitutes. Most recipes that call for sugar can be tweaked a bit by trading out some or all of it for other sweeteners that may be less likely to cause blood-sugar spikes. All sugar substitutes are different, so you’ll need to do your homework on which ones will work for a particular recipe. A few of my favorites are sucralose, agave and honey. I also love using other naturally sweet foods in place of sugar. For example, I use fresh fruit or applesauce on pancakes instead of syrup.
All-Purpose (White) Flour Alternatives. Just about every baked good calls for all-purpose flour. But you can replace some or all of it with other types of flour like whole wheat or, even better, almond flour. This one simple switch brings the carb count way down. Each muffin is only about 6 grams of carbs!
Less Butter and Oils. Okay, you might be wondering why I even bring this up, because butter and oils are carb-free. These fats by themselves don’t seem to be a problem for Kaitlyn, but as soon as I put butter, oil or cheese on a carb-heavy food, I may as well kiss in-range blood sugar numbers bye-bye for the next six hours. For example, if Kaitlyn chooses to have a little bit of fruit on a plain waffle, her numbers stay in range. But, if I give her the same waffle with butter on it? At snack time, I’ll get a text from the school nurse about Kaitlyn’s high numbers. So I’m trying to use less of these fatty oils or to replace them with something else. It turns out, you can even use applesauce in place of vegetable oil in most sweet bread recipes.
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.