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The Question
Fri Apr 20 15:51:45 UTC 2012

My 4 year old is Type 1 and has recently started hoarding and sneaking sweets. How can I help him understand that he cannot do this?

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My son was diagnosed at 2 and we have never had an issue with sneaking or stealing food until the last 2 weeks. We never tell him no or he can't have something as long as he asks us and gets insulin for it. The other day I found a stash of candy in his closet, two nights ago he stole food after being told he couldn't have any because he had been hiding it, and then today he snuk into the kitchen and I found him with his hand in my Nutella jar. This all started right after Easter when a family member sent him some sugar-free candy and that is the candy i found stashed in his room. I had taken the candy and put it in the cabinet and he usually gets a small piece for desert if he has eaten all his food with no complaints. I do not know how to help him understand that if he sneaks food and doesn't get insulin for it he is going to end up at the doctors (he hates the doctor, lol) I can't just let him learn the hard way and I am having a hard time figuring out how to handle this.
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Expert Answers (1)
2012-04-30 16:59:49.0

Having raised two young sons with diabetes I understand what you are going through. I can tell you that for me when I gave my children the "perception" that they could have most things in moderation and that the entire family ate the same way-(a healthy way), they did not feel they were missing out on anything. There is always a chance for rebellion and sometimes connecting with other peers is helpful, as in support groups. This is a normal reaction to what can be a restrictive disease, and finding creative ways to handle treats becomes important so the feeling of deprivation is not there. Maybe even put together a treasure chest of favorite foods only for him and no one else. These can be eaten at certain times; maybe after exercise low blood sugars,etc. My boys loved that, and it became a special game; remember that most children or adults should avoid sweets as well, and you will find balance. I hope this helps!
Answered By: susan sloane
Accreditations: B.S.,Rph.,C.D.E.,Nutritionist
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Community Answers (1)
2012-05-04 17:12:30.0

Telling him he can't hoard candy isn't going to work because he can, and knows it. Try telling him that what he's doing is wrong and that it can make him very sick. I know it's not easy getting a child that young to understand why he can't have all the sweets he craves but just telling him that he can't do it isn't going to work. And, of course, it's probably a good idea to keep candy, cookies and other high-carb foods out of his reach as much as possible, just like you'd do with any other pre-schooler.
Answered By: sideburns

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