Thursday, August 12, 2010

Food Police?

Grace has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes for a year and a half. In that time I can honestly say I've never encountered the Food Police. You know, those people out there who think they know more than you about what your child can or can not eat.

I've had lots of people ask WHAT she can eat. Most admitting that they thought anything with high sugar is a no-no. Some people assume she CAN'T eat certain things, and ask how we deal with those situations.

Sometimes, depending on my mood at the time, I go into a lengthy explanation and mini crash-course on diabetes nutrition and management. The basics: food raises blood sugar, insulin and exercise lowers it, count carbs, insulin delivered through pump around the clock as well as at meals or other times when necessary, yada, yada, yada.

It's about this time I usually sense I've lost my audience, their eyes glazed over with info overload, and I quit talking about the stuff that others don't realize I think about ALL. THE. TIME.

Other times I simply say, "Yeah, she can eat that. She'll be fine."

But I've never had someone come up to me (or her, that I've noticed) and question what and why she's eating something. People are surprised when I let her eat birthday cake, but never question my decision or knowledge.

Even so, it's nice when someone goes out of their way to help me out in the food department. Like yesterday. We were at the pool (are you sensing a theme - all my stories seem to start, "we were at the pool..." It's been a GREAT summer!). One of my friends had brought a box of Chip-wiches for her kids, and she had 3 left over. You know what I'm talking about - 2 chocolate chip cookies sandwiching vanilla ice cream, then rolled in chocolate chips. Some women, out their natural generosity, would've come right over and said, "Would you kids like an ice cream sandwich? We have enough for everyone!"

To non-D families there'd be no problem. To me this brings a world of crap. In most instances I would say no thank you, because it just introduces an unknown factor into Grace's blood glucose that, frankly, unless I'm planning, I'm not interested in. Herein starts the crap. First, Grace would give me the sad face, immediately followed by the more fierce MAD face. Tears? Maybe. Tantrum? Not likely, but boy would she be pissed.

Then my other 2 would join in. "Why can't WE have it? Just 'cause Grace can't doesn't mean WE can't." Tears? Yep. Crap. Crap. Crap.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what's known as a no-win situation.

Which is why I totally appreciated my friend's tactic. She hid the box from my kids as she walk directly over to ME. Not my kids... ME. She leaned over and whispered her offer, following it with a tentative, "I'm not sure if this would be okay."

WOW! How great was that! I was able to politely decline, she took the box away, and none of my kids were any the wiser. It was great! No tears, no attitude, no crap!

It's so great when friends make even the smallest effort to understand. It may not happen all the time, but when it does I savor every moment.

Any Food Police stories out there?


  1. I have had plenty of the opposite... where the parent plops down a bag full of candy or some high sugar treat for the kids to have a free for all. I then have to tell my kidS (cuz I don't single out my T1) that they can't just dig in. Sucks when everyone else can with no worries (actually grosses me out that the other kids are allowed to eat that much c r a p. But at the same time, wish mine could too.)
    so nice to find those moments when a parent is so considerate :-)

  2. I love people like that are they not great ? that is awesome . Just when you think all is lost something great happens .

  3. It is great when friends understand, so very true. I don't have many Food Police stories, well, except for my mother who insists to this day that Grace has T1 because she 'ate too many cookies' - I'm not even gonna try and change my 83 year old mother, so now I just nod. Sometimes, you gotta roll with acceptance rather than change :0)