I’ve always loved to cook, but when my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes almost two years ago, cooking went from an easy and enjoyable way to nourish my family to a near occasion of stress.
I was very tempted to stop cooking my usual way and start living out of bags, boxes, and cans–things that come complete with nutrition labels and specific serving sizes.
Fortunately I was advised against taking the easy way out. The diabetes educators and nutritionists encouraged me to stick with home cooking, as long as I was serving reasonably healthy meals to begin with. “Feed him like you normally would–just count the carbs,” was their advice.
In the beginning, my style of cooking changed quite a bit. I measure when I bake–not so much when I cook. Like many cooks, I “eyeball” it. It took me months to feel comfortable doing that again.
In the meantime, my measuring cups, scoops and spoons got a real workout.
Evemtually, my strategy became centered on the Calorie Count nutrition-label tool. It’s free to use, though you do need to sign up on the website. It generates a label for any recipe I have, much more quickly than I could add up each ingredient.
What’s different about cooking for diabetics? Not much, really. You just need to be conscious of the numbers.