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Playtime snack for child with type 1 diabetes

(20 Posts)
SE13Mummy Sun 11-Sep-11 18:20:26

I'll probably post this in children's health too but thought some of you may have experience of diabetes and would be kind enough to give me a few ideas.

In my class this year is a child with type 1 diabetes. This in itself is completely manageable but the snacks this child brings in for playtime seem at odds with the advice in the care plan and on the Diabetes UK website.

My question is, do any of you have diabetic children for whom bacon bit crisps or salted cheese triangle biscuits are the essential mid-morning snack? I understand that, dependent upon glucose levels, different action needs to be taken and that carbohydrate is crucial in the maintenance of said levels but these particular snacks seem to be based more upon what's available at the shop en route to school than anything else (backed up by the parent telling me that there isn't always fruit in the fruit bowl so the child just has to have whatever snack they can find).

I have spoken to the parent about it, and the SENCo and have a meeting with the diabetic nurse arranged but I'd find it helpful to know if other diabetic children did benefit from salty snacks at playtime so at least it can be written into the updated care plan (rather than needing me to alert all playground staff every time an unexpected snack appears).

Thanks for your help MN!

PipinJo Mon 12-Sep-11 20:48:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JackTheNipper Mon 12-Sep-11 20:56:51

It depends on what insulin regime she is on, and how often her sugars are being checked.

Generally on the whole unhealthy snacks are a no no, but with diabetes its a bit different, carbs are good and contain slow release sugars to keep her blood sugars up until lunch time.

Is she having her sugars checked before lunch time? is her insulin adjusted acording to her sugars or is it a flat dose she is given?

MangoMonster Mon 12-Sep-11 20:58:59

Shouldn't you discuss this with the dc parents. Fruit can have high levels of fructose which can cause problems. Please speak to the parents to gain an understanding of their views and position.

SE13Mummy Mon 12-Sep-11 22:56:36

I am the child's teacher and yes, for most children the expectation is that if a playtime snack is required, it must be fruit (not for this child though, obviously).

Sugars are checked just before lunch and insulin is adjusted according to the levels. Playtime is 2 hours before lunch and so sugars are only tested if the child feels low.

I have discussed it with the child's parent; I was interested as to whether or not any of you had first hand experience/knowledge of a salty snack being of benefit to a child with diabetes. It is a point of interest really, the child is allowed to have whatever snack the parent provides, it surprised me that on 2 out of the 5 days last week, a snack so wildly different from those mentioned in the care plan had been sent in. I wondered if that might be because salty snacks perform a particular function.

MangoMonster Mon 12-Sep-11 23:10:10

My dad is diabetic an some fruits are ok. Guess it depends like you say on the child's care plan. Can't see why salt would be beneficial but I'm not an expert. The child must have a diabetes specialist to look at dietary requirements and really think you should discuss it again with the parents. You're not qualified and neither is anyone on this board when it comes to this child's specific dietary requirements. Don't really understand your curiosity and what you would do with any information you find, as a teacher.

PipinJo Mon 12-Sep-11 23:40:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cat64 Mon 12-Sep-11 23:56:45

Message withdrawn

thecaptaincrocfamily Tue 13-Sep-11 00:04:23

As a professional who works with children I can say that long acting carbohydrate snacks are what is required. That could be banana, breadsticks, digestive biscuits, toast, crackers with spread. It certainly doesn't need to be salty as a general rule. Talk to your school nurse who may be able to advise you and she will save you time by liaising with the diabetic nurse specialist on your behalf.

IndigoBell Tue 13-Sep-11 07:36:45

Wow, a lot of hostile posts to a teacher who has concerns about a child's welfare!


MangoMonster Tue 13-Sep-11 08:17:42

Sorry I you think it was hostile. I just don't think it's very professional for a teacher to be posting about a kid in their class on mumsnet. If I was the mother I would appreciate being handled more professionally, that is all. Obviously just a difference of opinion.

PipinJo Tue 13-Sep-11 12:46:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IndigoBell Tue 13-Sep-11 13:50:59

Sorry, maybe I misread / misunderstood some of the posts.

SE13 is a regular poster on the primary board, and I know from that she's an excellent teacher.

JackTheNipper Tue 13-Sep-11 18:25:45

As far as I'm aware salt is not benifitial for diabetics, however crisps are a source of carbohydrate which are better for the blood sugars staying even long term.

What you don't want is peaks and troughs this is really bad long and short term, it's good that her sugar is being checked before lunch and not just a set dose of insulin is given.

Sorry if my post sounded hostile I really didn't mean it to smile

SE13Mummy Tue 13-Sep-11 21:14:23

Yes, I am concerned. No, I do not think the child's parent is deliberately trying to cause kidney problems. Yes, I have spoken with the school nurse and yes, I have arranged a meeting with the SENCo, parent, diabetes nurse and all members of staff who are involved with the child.

Someone needs to be this child's advocate; the last thing I want is for a member of staff to challenge the child who is eating crisps in the playground at playtime (because they are not on the care plan) and for this to lead to the child not eating the snack provided at all, something that could have disasterous results.

If I knew that salty carbohydrates perform a particular function then I could help ensure that the updated care plan reflects this and that whatever is put on is suitably generic as to encompass bacon bits, salted cheese triangle biscuits and all other possibilities rather than having specific salty carbohydrate snacks listed.

That's all!

I've found the SN board to be extremely helpful both for my own children and for SN-related situations at school, hence my post.

DownbytheRiverside Tue 13-Sep-11 21:29:05

I agree that the diabetic specialist nurse is your best source of information about appropriate snacks for this particular child, and she'd be the link who could support the parent if there are any difficulties in perception as to what constitutes an appropriate snack.
Yes to crisps and tuc biscuits having been on a care plan for a child with type1, but not specifically salty snacks.
As to the child being queried in the playground, I'd have it flagged as a point that any confusions be directed to you as the class teacher with the most up to date information.
Yes, the care plan should be updated if there are other types of foods being offered.

PipinJo Tue 13-Sep-11 21:44:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

brambleschooks Tue 13-Sep-11 22:34:20

My t1 diabetic child has crisps as his break time snack. The carbs and fat help to keep his blood glucose steady. He enjoys them and whilst they're not th most healthy of snacks it is part of a balanced diet and he doesn't eat any other junk food.

I'd be more worried about the planning ahead to ensure a range of snacks are available. Good for you to care enough to try to find out more about the child's condition.

May I suggest an excellent website, children with diabetes in the uk for further information on children with diabetes.

cat64 Wed 14-Sep-11 15:01:32

Message withdrawn

Nat38 Wed 19-Oct-11 20:06:06

I have an type 1 diabetic DD diagnosed at age 4! I always tried to give her a healthy/high carb snack that was a bit boring for the other kids aswell!! And I always said that if DD wanted the fruit just to substitute with the snack that I had sent in!! I wanted her to blend in as much as possible & if that meant boring snacks that she liked at school then so be it!! Lots of plain digestive biscuits, malted milk biscuits!! I also sent an Emergency Bag bag in that I replenished every half term that contained things like chocolate, Dextro Tablets, regular coke etc. The teacher had a special place for this Bag that DD knew about if she needed anything from it.

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