My rice cooker died. Most people can deal with that just fine, cooking rice on the stove just like Mom used to. I just have no luck that way at all. Whatever I do, my rice ends up either burnt or crunchy or both. I just don’t have the magic touch — ask my family!

Rice cookers aren’t expensive, so I thought about adding one to my own Christmas list this year. But something gave me a little pause. I guess it was just that I wondered, because of James’ type 1 diabetes, if rice should really even be a part of our family’s diet?

James LOVES rice. Specifically he loves white jasmine rice with no seasoning at all. He could eat four cups in a sitting if I let him. I’m a fan of letting kids with diabetes eat a reasonable amount of their favorite foods and figuring out the best ways to deliver insulin so that they maintain steady blood sugar levels. However, rice is one of our tricky foods, where we don’t do the best job matching up the carb content to the insulin, and James often ends up either high or low a few hours after eating it. Then there’s the fact that white rice is not terribly dense nutritionally. Should our D-kids be eating rice?

I put the rice cooker question out to a group of other moms of kids with type 1 in my local social media group. I got a variety of responses, which was totally the point of making the inquiry there. Most moms were pretty laid-back about the whole thing. Why WOULDN’T I want to make cooking rice easier? They don’t think rice is that bad. I can totally relate to that perspective! Generally I feel pretty okay about incorporating small amounts of almost any food into James’ diet.

One mom pointed out that I could make quinoa and other grains in the rice cooker too, and that is true! That’s something that we did use the rice cooker for. Quinoa in particular is a great food for James.

Another mom mentioned that when she makes rice for her family, she makes a smallish amount, just enough so that every family member gets no more than a half cup. That kind of strategy would allow us to eat rice but make sure that it is used just to accent the other food on the menu, preventing James from overindulging in it. He would be happy because he loves rice, but by controlling the portion a little bit, any problems we have with managing blood sugar levels from rice would be lessened.

After talking to the other moms, I went ahead and put a rice cooker on my Christmas wish list. In fact, I found one that not only can cook rice but also functions as a slow cooker, makes yogurt, and has a couple of other cool features. Bonus! To quote one of the other moms, “Why NOT buy an appliance that can cook a variety of healthy foods for your family?” Why not indeed. Here’s looking forward to the end of December and a new tool for feeding my family healthy food!

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.

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