Valentine’s Day Challenges for a Diabetic and Celiac Parent

Certain holidays can be especially challenging when you are the parent of a child with diabetes or celiac disease, and this Valentine’s Day certainly falls into the “challenging” category for me. Each year I typically give my kids a few edible treats and include a cute little stuffed animal that has some sort of meaning. Well, enter my husband. Because we are moving in about 3 months and we have done a pretty thorough clean out of our house, he has nixed the idea of any stuffed items. He has a very valid point – most of the kids’ stuffed animals end up at Goodwill eventually, so it truly is a waste of money. So, no stuffed animals…

Something I took for granted prior to my daughter’s celiac diagnosis is how easy it was to buy candy for her. I know, of everything that I could complain about, am I seriously complaining about buying candy???  But it is really frustrating when E is so darn picky: although she loves Reese’s PB cups, and the traditional ones are gluten-free, sometimes the cute little holiday ones aren’t; she loves Gummy Bears but I’ve found that many of them aren’t really Gluten Free.  I got lucky that the Valentine’s tube filled with Reese’s that has the plastic heart on top is labeled “gluten-free;” but that luck came only after spending 15-20 minutes reading labels in the darn seasonal aisle at Wal-Mart. When choosing my son’s candy, I tried to choose candy that had a carb count that could be easily calculated for his Novolog ratio. For example, he is still in honeymoon and his ratio is only 1:23, so I tried to get something as close to 23 carbs for 1 serving to make it easier. So he ended up with a tube of Hershey’s Kisses, mostly because I was losing my mind and I know they are also GF.

Contrary to how it may sound, each child is only get one item of candy (because we don’t eat a lot of junk) and then something small – mostly because I am trying to make this like any other V-Day before their diagnoses. But my point is that these concerns are something that I, along with parents of those with other special diets, have to deal with every day, but ESPECIALLY on commercialized “holidays” when you want your kids to feel like every other kid. And don’t even get me started on the school parties…

Regardless of what you do and don’t do for your kids today, I hope you make them feel special!




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