Kid Approved & Diabetic Friendly

New Year’s Eve Snack & Activity Ideas for Kids

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2016 is coming to a close and we’re getting ready to ring in 2017! I hope 2016 has been a great year for you and your family, and I hope that 2017 is even better!

To help start the New Year off right, today I wanted to share some fun New Year’s Eve snack and activity ideas with you to do with the kids.

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The first is a fun snack idea- a Milk & Cookie New Year’s Toast for Kids. The idea is to have your own little countdown early on in the day (maybe 12 p.m. instead of 12 a.m.) for little ones who can’t make it to midnight. Once 12 hits, you toast to the new year with your glass of milk and then use the remainder of the milk to dunk your cookies in.

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To make this more diabetic friendly, for our type 1 kiddos, I used Fairlife milk & Cybele’s Free to Eat Cookies.

Fairlife Milk has 50% less sugar and carbs, and 50% more protein that ordinary milk (yes, even the chocolate!), and it tastes great!

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Cybele’s Free to Eat Cookies are full of the flavors you crave, free of the top 8 allergens, certified gluten-free, certified vegan, and you don’t have to be allergic to love them! They come in Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle, Oatmeal Raisin & Chocolate Chunk Brownie and all are fantastic!

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The next snack I’m sharing is a simple fruit platter spelling out “2017”. My kids gobbled this up in about 5 seconds. Just pick their four favorite fruits, and pre-weigh and count the carbs before assembling on the platter so that they can just dig in. It’s always fun writing the new year the first few times, and I must say writing it in fruit is even more fun!

resolutions
This time of year there is always a lot of talk about making New Year Resolutions. This doesn’t have to just be for adults, kids can get in on this too!

I know New Year’s Resolutions can be very cliche, but I personally love the idea of setting new intentions for a new year. It feels like a clean slate to make certain areas of your life better than they were in the previous year. As my kids get older, I think this is important for them to do as well- examine things they want to do better, think about something new they want to learn or try in the new year, etc.

I printed off two sheets for them to fill out. One is from theteacherbag.com, and the other is from uncommondesignsonline.com. We had a lot of fun with this activity, and some of their answers surprised me (in a good way). It’s nice to put these “goals” in writing too, because this way we can go back to them and check in and see if we’re making steps towards attaining our goals.

Just a few, fun, and simple things to do with the kiddos to help celebrate the New Year. I sincerely hope 2017 is wonderful for all of you!

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Halloween Candy Carb Counts

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GrifGrips

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One of the best things about this blog is the platform it provides to share tips and tricks with the diabetic community – things that make diabetes management a little bit easier. Many times this includes sharing some of the various products that we find useful in life with T1D. So when I find something we love and that works really well for us, I feel compelled to share it with you. I’m excited to share that GrifGrips is one of those products!

For the longest time C was quite resistant to letting us put his CGM sensor on the back of his arm. We would encourage him to try it so that his legs and buttocks could have a break, since we also use those spots for his insulin pump site. Well, after attending the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life conference this summer (and seeing so many T1D peers who were proudly sporting their sensors on their arms), he mustered the courage to try putting his CGM on the back of his arm, and we’ve been putting them there ever since.

Having an active 9 1/2 year old boy, we quickly realized we could use some extra support to secure his sensor in this new location, and shortly after this, we discovered GrifGrips and fell in love with them!

So what are GrifGrips (pulled from the GrifGrips website)?

For all you pump and sensor wearers out there, don’t let diabetes damper your passion for adventure and all of the experiences life has to offer.  We are introducing a new set of adhesive patches, or what we like to call “Grips”, that will help secure your devices and let you go wherever the day takes you. Whether you use the Omnipod, Dexcom, or any other pump or sensor device we can help secure them.

Our Grips and tapes are made of a cotton material with an acrylic adhesive which means they flex with the natural movement of your body and their fabric nature allows your skin to breathe and stay cool.

Whether you’re into heavy sports or just swimming at your local pool our adhesive products can withstand the rigor and keep you on the move.    Plus, they look really cool!! Whether you have a CGM Sensor, Tube or Tubeless insulin pump, we can help you secure your devices. The key to GrifGrips is about getting good coverage both on the device and the surrounding skin areas. This coverage aids in securing the devices from impacts that would normally disengage the device.

Whether you are an athlete, scholar, or gamer, let us take the worry out of securing your devices, so you can focus on the fun.

I love all of their designs and there is truly something for everyone! We’ve tested them on the soccer field, swimming, and just with every day activity of a pre-teen boy, and they work very well! Plus it gives his sensor a little “flare”. I know C enjoys putting on a fresh Grip and seeing what his friends think of it. It’s nice that there are options like this to let them make their devices “theirs” and be another extension of their style and personality.

I urge you to check them out!

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21 Months

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My daughter turns 21 months old today. To most people, this isn’t necessarily a noteworthy month (at least not more than any other), but I have found myself a bit emotional as the day approaches as she is now as old as C was when he was diagnosed with diabetes.

Nearly 8 years into this disease I feel like I have largely come to terms with what our life with diabetes looks like, and I am often “numbed out” to that raw emotion that existed for the first couple of years after his diagnosis. Some days are certainly better than others, but for the most part, I have accepted our “normal.”

However, I still have triggers that can take me back to that hospital room with my little toddler, whose only concerns at the time were making sure he had at least 5 trains by his side at all times, and that an episode of Little Einsteins was constantly playing. He had no idea why he was at the hospital, or that there was a war being waged inside his tiny body, why his tiny fingers were now being pricked multiple times a day, or why he was now given shots 4 times a day. He was completely unaware of the gravity of a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. This is something I am thankful for, because by the time he was old enough to understand it, it was already his normal.

Because I am now dealing with a 9 1/2-year-old who is becoming increasingly more in charge of his own diabetes management, it’s easy to forget just how challenging those early days really were. But now that I look at my daughter who is now exactly the same age that he was when he was diagnosed, the memories start flooding back. Memories I have tried hard over the years to suppress.

I went through the same thing when my middle child turned 21 months old, 5 years ago. I know there isn’t a lot of logic to it, because even if my other two children were to become type 1 diabetics as well, the likelihood of that happening at 21 months would be highly unlikely.

Even so, I can’t seem to shake the emotion I am feeling. Sometimes I think I try so hard to put on a brave face, that I forget that it’s OK to feel sad, to feel angry, to feel bitter, to wish with every fiber of my being that this wasn’t C’s reality…our reality.

So instead of trying to suppress that emotion that I’m currently feeling, I’m going to try to just embrace it this month. Feel that sadness, the loss of the innocence and carefree-ness that was stripped of my firstborn at 21 month old. But also knowing, that if my other two children were to be diagnosed that we would be OK. That you can still live a full and happy life even when plagued this awful disease.

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Let’s Race!

IMG_9494A week ago this past Saturday, C & I both ran our first race together. He ran a 1 mile race and I ran a 5K. I know, I know, millions of people run this (and much much further distances) daily, and with great ease. However, for those who know me, this was a big feat for us…on many levels. I’ll get more into that in a minute.

Just a week and a half before said race, C’s soccer coach sent out a message to parents encouraging anyone interested to sign up. It had been a New Year’s resolution of mine to run a 5K this year. However, to be completely honest, at the time of the message I was doing absolutely nothing to work toward that goal. But my husband encouraged me, and said maybe this is the perfect opportunity to run your first one- C can do the 1 mile race and you can do the 5K. After much debate, I decided to go for it.

The night before, I questioned what in the world I had done. I am not a runner in any sense of the word. Heck, I had to run out and buy running shoes the week of the race, because I didn’t even own proper running shoes. On top of my own personal stress about running, I was concerned about C. What if he went low during the race? What should we feed him before to help stabilize blood sugar?

Even a year ago, had something like this come up, our immediate answer would have been “no”. It’s not worth the stress and worry of trying to navigate diabetes during a race that is just for fun. We’ll just sit this out and stay in our comfort zone, thank you very much.

Why do I tell you all this? Because by us completing our races together, something big clicked inside of me. There was a day so many things scared me about him growing up and wondering how we would navigate diabetes (school, sports, sleepovers, etc.), but all have proven to go far better than I could have ever imagined. And while diabetes does certainly add an extra layer of planning and stress to a lot of these activities, do know they are possible and that your type 1 kiddo can do absolutely anything and everything that non type 1 kiddos can do. Don’t let diabetes be a reason you say “no” to something. I say this, because I’ve been guilty of this before.

So I guess the moral of the story is this…those big scary things that intimidate you and you think you/your child could never do. Do them.

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Newly Diagnosed Meal Plan

For the last couple of months I have been working with Beyond Type 1 to create a 1-week meal plan for a newly diagnosed family. This is something I have been wanting to do for awhile. Every time I hear from a newly diagnosed family, I’ve wanted to have something to direct them toward that will help them get back on their feet and learn how to prepare meals for their type 1 kiddo.

This plan features some of our favorite family recipes, and when creating it, I tried to strike a balance of low carbohydrate options, while also keeping them super kid-friendly, as this will likely be a new way of eating for many kids.

This plan contains options for a homemade breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner, every day for a week. If this is an overwhelming amount of cooking for you, feel free to pick and chose from the recipes provided- you can totally cater it to your own family. The plan is merely meant as a sample week.

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Here are 4 of our family favorite recipes that are included in the plan:

Low Carb Breakfast Burritos Over the years these Breakfast Burritos have become a favorite at our house! They’re so easy to make and so delicious! I promise you won’t even miss the tortilla!
Unwrapped Sandwich Skewer Sometimes you just need a break from an ordinary sandwich. This Unwrapped Sandwich Skewer does just that! Just load up a popsicle stick or skewer with your favorite sandwich fillings and you have a perfect lunch idea. If your kiddo doesn’t typically eat sandwiches, this may be just the ticket to getting them to like them!
Chickpea Cookie Dough Dip Whenever I make this Chickpea Cookie Dough Dip, my kids are always left begging for more. I know that a chickpea based cookie dough dip may have you raising your eyebrows, but I’m here to tell you that this stuff is goooood and it totally tastes like cookie dough!
Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti After looking for a low-carb alternative to spaghetti, this delicious Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti was born. You’ll be shocked at what a “noodle fix” broccoli slaw will give you!

For the whole plan click here. While there, be sure to check out all of Beyond Type 1’s amazing resources. Their “First 30 Days” section is especially helpful for newly diagnosed families.

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Diabetic Sick Kit

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The holidays have now come and gone. You’ve likely had multiple family gatherings, and we’re officially in the thick of winter. I don’t know about your family, but this time of year tends to be a hot spot for our family to catch and spread illness. However, this year we’re prepared!

When illness strikes our house, 9-out-of-10 times it comes completely out of nowhere, in the wee hours of the night when we are awoken by crying kiddos. It’s seriously so bizarre. Most nights that our kids end up getting sick they were acting completely normal prior to bedtime, giving no signs that something was brewing.

So because illness tends to strike at random times at our house, I rarely have everything I need on hand to properly care for kiddos. I (or my husband) almost always have to go run out for “sick supplies,” which is the last thing I want to be doing when I have a kiddo who is feeling under the weather. So I finally wised up and created a “sick kit” of shelf stable items that can help me avoid the middle of the night store runs, when illness does decide to strike.

Because illness and diabetes go together about as good as oil and water, I thought I would share a sick kit that is specific to diabetes sick day management.

Here’s what’s inside:

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  • Water bottles- This is for obvious reasons- it’s important to stay hydrated when sick! You also want to push fluids to help get rid of those pesky ketones that seem to just love to join sick parties.
  • 7-UP (regular & diet)– I like to have both on hand when C is sick because especially when he has a tummy bug, he tends to go low quite often, so it’s nice to have regular 7-UP for when we’re trying to bring his blood sugar up, and the Diet is nice if he’s high, but wanting something other than water to drink.
  • Gatorade (regular & G2)- I like to have both on hand for the same reasons I do for regular 7-Up and Diet. Do note that G2 does have carbs in it, it’s just a lot less than regular Gatorade.
  • Juice boxes- No, juice is not the best for a sick tummy, but I like to have juice boxes stashed just in case of emergencies and this seemed like a good place to have some.

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Shelf-stable foods that are good on a sick tummy:

  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Rice
  • Applesauce
  • Saltine crackers
  • Cheerios

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Diabetic sick day supplies:

  • Frosting- I’ve never actually had to use this before, but I heard a tip long ago to always keep a tube of frosting on hand, and in the event of a severe low put some frosting on the inside of your kiddos cheek.
  • Glucose tabs
  • Glucagon kit
  • Ketostix- You may want to include a disposable cup with this. For a couple of years C wasn’t comfortable “going” directly on the stick and found using a cup to collect with, and then test, was easier. You can also get a ketone meter that uses a blood drop, much like a blood sugar check. We used to use a ketone meter when C was still in diapers, but have since gone away from it because it was a bigger pain to keep up with the prescription and the expiring sticks than to just use Ketostix.

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  • Medicine- Pain relievers, cough syrups, cough drops, anti-diarrhea and anti-vomiting medicine, etc. It can be helpful to find sugar-free products when possible. Everything pictured above is sugar-free.

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  • Thermometer- It’s nice to also have extra thermometer batteries on hand just in case.
  • Tissues
  • Hand sanitizer

Other items I’m assuming you already have on hand:

  • Dr.’s phone numbers
  • Blood glucose monitoring supplies- Meter, strips, lancing device.
  • Insulin pump supplies (or syringes if not on a pump)

As with just about everything else pertaining to diabetes, I’ve found that planning ahead and planning for the unexpected, helps everything run much smoother and takes off so much stress! Having a sick kit ready with supplies for when illness strikes gives me such peace of mind! Hopefully it will you too!

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2,000 Likes & a KIND Bar Giveaway

A couple of weeks ago, I realized my Facebook page was quickly approaching 2,000 ‘likes’. Frankly, this blows me away.

Before starting this site, I only personally knew of a handful of type 1 families. Now I’m fortunate to be part of a giant community that is full of people who are impacted by type 1 diabetes. I can’t articulate how thankful I am to everyone who has supported the blog by visiting and sharing my site with others. You have all helped me tremendously on a personal level as well, by communication on posts and on social media about your experiences (good and bad), tips, tricks, and stories about how YOUR diabetes or YOUR loved one’s diabetes behaves.

There is no how-to manual with this disease, but having a place to come together to try to figure it out, one day at a time, has been a real blessing for me. Hopefully it has been for you as well.

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To help celebrate this milestone KIND Snacks is hosting a giveaway. We absolutely love KIND bars and they are a perfect diabetic-friendly snack.

To enter for a chance to win, please Log In or enter your email address below. One lucky winner will be randomly selected and will receive a FREE box of 10 KIND bars. I’m so appreciative to KIND Snacks for sponsoring this giveaway, and hope that you will all go out and try them if you haven’t already.

If you haven’t already, please be sure to ‘like’ Finger Prickin’ Good on Facebook and share with anyone else you know who could benefit from this site.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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