Kaitlyn’s favorite kind of weather is when it’s raining. And not because of the rain! She loves rainy weather because of what she gets to do inside the house. For her, a cold and rainy day is all about putting on pajamas and slippers and cozying up with a blanket and a good book or a movie. She loves to bake, and like most of us, rainy weather makes her want to turn to comfort food — soups, grilled cheese, hot cocoa, and good ol’ carbalicious baked goods.
She loves making and eating anything with sugar and flour as the main ingredients — cookies, cakes, muffins, scones, sweet breads, cinnamon rolls. You name it, she loves it. Just saying the names of those foods is enough to make her eyes get big, a wide smile to spread across her face, and her voice to get an infusion of excitement. Her best day ever would be to bake all day and eat as she goes!
It’s kind of ironic that my one child who has such a fascination with food (and especially baking) is also the one with type 1 diabetes. Having diabetes definitely doesn’t exclude her from being able to enjoy these yummy treats, but she has to enjoy them…shall I say…“wisely.” Here are a few tips and tricks we’ve learned over the years that have helped us enjoy home-baked treats:
- Bolus for treats about 10-15 minutes ahead. Treats with lots of sugar and flour are notorious for causing high blood sugar levels for Kaitlyn. We try to plan ahead and give a bolus ahead of time to avoid those after-meal spikes as much as possible.
- If you’re going to sneak a taste, plan for it. What I mean is that if you’re going to be picking at dough and licking at frosting-covered fingers, plan ahead and bolus for what you’re eating. Little licks and taste tests can add up, and if we’re not careful, Kaitlyn will end up with high blood sugar even before the cookies are out of the oven.
- Use a scale to calculate carbs. I highly recommend getting a kitchen scale and using it on a regular basis. We use ours all the time, and it especially helps when calculating carbs of home-baked goods. After all, there’s not going to be a nutrition label on your cookies and cakes. We’ve found that it’s much easier to measure carbs for these items with a scale. We generally count about 15 carb grams per ounce of a finished treat, for pretty much all kinds of baked goods.
- Correct often. Even when calculating carbs precisely and bolusing ahead, we still might have some stubborn highs from carb-heavy treats. We try to give corrections as necessary or use our pump features to help with this as well, to avoid stacking and give the insulin time to work.
- Be reasonable. Eating lots of sugary treats in a short period of time isn’t good for anyone, including Kaitlyn! Have a taste and enjoy, but you don’t need to eat the whole plateful! (I’m giving this advice to myself as much as anyone else!)
Here’s to rainy days, and happy baking!
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.