Sunday, November 14, 2010

Regular vs. Diet

Brandi, over at Juvenation asked the diabetes online community if her newly diagnosed 3 year old should drink Crystal Light as an alternative to Juice. After all, it's hard to see a toddler more than arms length away from a sippy cup of juice or juicebox. They're mad for the stuff.

As soon as we came home with Cassie's T1D diagnosis, we nearly bought out the grocery store's whole supply of diet drinks, lite ice creams and sugar free treats. Several tummy aches later, we realized we'd gone overboard. The culprit? Aspartame and artificial sweeteners.

We fell into the common misconception that people with diabetes can't eat regular food or sip sugary drinks like juice (mainly because the hospital staff communicated that message to us since they deal with type 2 diabetes more than type 1). The most important thing to count are carbs, and you can adjust for sugary intake by: either giving insulin for it and/or not overindulging on the sweet stuff.

The funny thing is, Cassie drinks more juice AFTER the diabetes diagnosis than before. We find that it's a quick and convenient way to get her blood sugar levels up when she's low. It's really all in the timing.

So now we buy mostly "normal" ice cream and juice, etc. but we also have a good amount of sugar free choices when her blood sugars are high. We DO stay clear of regular sodas normally- flavored seltzer waters like La Croix are a family favorite when you want something fizzy. Crystal Light lemonade is staple at the Maxwell house at summertime. So we have both regular and diet in the house. It's all about a balance and not going too far one way or the other.

TRUE STORY: last week I got a new twitter follower (I'm @rpmax). The person's handle was JuicyMama2go. Juicymama? I had to check out her profile. This is what it said: As a mother with two kids with Type I diabetes, I always have juice with me. Yes, I am one JuicyMama!

Nov. 14th is World Diabetes Day and it also marks Juvenation's 2nd Birthday. W00T! Wear blue and make sure to check out to JDRF's first ever Type 1 Talk online at 3 pm EST today (Nov. 14).

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