Cookbook ideas?

Hi all, I just joined this forum today. My son, age 13, was diagnosed with T1D over the weekend. I was wondering if anybody knows of any good cookbooks where the serving sizes are very clear and the instructions use weight instead of volume? We have a kitchen scale and I would prefer to weigh things for accuracy as we are still learning how to count carbs.

I was surprised that a quick search on Amazon didn’t find anything obvious. I love to cook and eating nutritious Whole Foods has always been an important part of our lives and of course now it has a whole different angle.

I did order the book think like a pancreas, and it will arrive today. But specifically, I’m looking for cookbooks so that I can make a meal and confidently know how many carbs it has per serving.

Thanks in advance!

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Hi @Maidasussman and welcome to the forum. I use an app called Yummly for recipes. Some instructions are better than others as far as details, but there are plenty to choose from and you can specify dietary needs, allergies, food likes and dislikes and other information, which I find helpful.

@Maidasussman Welcome Maida to the JDRF TypeOneNation Community Forum! I have a feeling that we will see your here often; most of the Members posting here are not medical professionals but rather people affected by diabetes offering suggestions and tips based on living experience. And, at age 13, a tough age to begin living with diabetes, your son is old enough to have his own account [which you can monitor] - there are several teens here who will know what is is experiencing.

During my seven decades living with diabetes, selecting I have not found any book or table proving weight for everything - most use both volume and/or weight for counting carbohydrates. I still use a scale and measuring cups for some meals - like this morning’s meal of 52 grams where I used only measuring cups where I could have tried to weigh my rolled-oats - a 1/2 Cup of oats [I’ve forgotten the weight now], cooked in 1 Cup
of milk plus a glass of orange juice. I know well most of the drinking glasses in our kitchen and know how deep I need to fill them without assistance from scaled measure.

In my kitchen, I’ve had a Calorie Kin book for many years - it lists about a gazillion foods, including popular restaurant quick-stuff, and for many will provide both weight and volume for specific serving size. It has values for Carb, Fat, Calories.

Extend my best wishes to your son - let him know that diabetes will not stop him from achieving any goal. Don’t let diabetes rule life, but make diabetes fit into his plans and dreams.

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Maida @Maidasussman when looking at my email today, I came across an article that may interest your son. The link below is to diaTribe news letter - a trusted site that posts valuable and accurate information for people living with diabetes. This article, making insulin injections easier is something I had read 70 years ago.
5 Steps for Easier Insulin Injections | DiaTribe

Figuring out initial settings for carb ratios can be tricky. You (that’s a global “you” - not you personally😊) may not be able to tell if resulting numbers are off because the ratio was wrong, or because you counted incorrectly. Forgive me if what I’m about to suggest guess against everything you prefer to do, but sometimes it’s easier to work with pre-packaged meals: the counts for the portion sizes have been determined so if you get consistent highs or lows following a meal the problem is probably with the ratio. Using that up front might help you develop confidence in your own counting.
Will you be meeting soon with a nutritionist? They can help you fine tune your existing good habits - they may even tell you you’re already on the right track! - and coach you with the counting.

Better homes and gardens cookbooks used to have nutritional information. I’m not sure about now since the one my mom uses was a wedding gift from 20 years ago.

PCC cooking from scratch is another cookbook we have with some fun(ky) recipes-beet cake, anyone? But it also has nutritional information.

When I was diagnosed my grandpa got us “the complete diabetes cookbook” from America’s test kitchen. it’s actually a pretty good cookbook because it has “normal” food and very few funky ingredients like almond flour or sugar substitutes. Lots of tips for balancing healthy meals and stuff like that. It of course also has nutritional information. It’s geared more towards T2D but I really like it even though I’m T1D because their recipes are often made with slightly different amounts/types of ingredients so that it’s more “blood sugar” or “low carb” friendly. Link: (

Most cooking blogs nowadays have a section at the end of their recipes with the nutritional information.

When I was diagnosed my mom and I went through the recipes we made most often and used an online nutritional calculator to find the carbs in each serving. We then used a pen/pencil to write “—-srv= —- carbs” at the top of each recipe. Since we still make the same good recipes 4 years later it’s been worth it to spend an afternoon calculating all the carbs.
Link to the carb counter we used and that I still use whenever we make a new recipe: Recipe Calorie and Nutrition Calculator

Thanks you @6yGodsGr , Dennis and @wadawabbit for your thoughtful and supportive replies.

Sorry for the radio silence over here. We’ve been busy getting my son back to school, which has been a full-time job. Plus we are working full time jobs or at least trying to right now.

Yes I have embraced frozen meals already due to the security of pre-calculated carbs on the package! I said to my husband, “We’re going to need a bigger freezer!”

I will look up and read everything you all sent.

I will encourage my son to make his own account here as well. He is a very busy baseball player, so he may not have a lot of time to participate until the season is over. Part of our challenge has been getting him back to practice as soon as possible so his life can be as normal as possible as soon. As possible. We have been navigating the highs and lows due exercise and we have had some heat here, in our part of the country (Portland, OR area).

We do have access to a nutritionist through the children’s hospital that diagnosed him in Portland. It was a nutritionist who did our initial five hour education session before we were discharged from the hospital. Side note - they have been amazing. We will have ongoing education and follow up with them. They have us call in every day to report his numbers and I can call any time 24 hours a day.

I did install an app I am liking called Carbs & Cals. it seems to be British so everything is in grams or liters. You can look up a certain food. See a picture of what a certain weight looks like, and see how many carbs it has. Or you can enter a specific weight. I have compared it to packaged items and it is spot on. So that is given me a way to look up food that is not labeled, like strawberries.

I love the idea of going through our favorite recipes and marking them up. I will definitely do that.

Thank you all again,

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Thank you @Dennis this article is very useful!

Hi neighbor (I grew up in Portland), glad to hear your son is getting back into some of his normal activities! And that your hospital is doing such a great job to help you.

I just remembered something else- I use the calorie king app and besides providing average nutritional information for lots of foods (ex: “1 cup of grapes”) they have tons of nutritional information from restaurants. Everything from KFC and Macdonalds to Costco food court and Starbucks. Might be a helpful resource for when you’re out and about! Many restaurants like Chick-fil-A also have the nutritional info for their menu on their websites.

Trader Joe’s has tons of great prepackaged snacks and lower carb foods with great nutritional labels. They’ve got some little bags of olives that are delish and really easy to carry, lots of granola bars, dried fruit (yummy for lows), a large selection of nuts so you can make your own trail mix or something out of whatever you want, salami sticks, and more. I’d definitely recommend checking them out if you haven’t already.

If your son is a snacker it might be helpful to make a “cheat sheet” to put somewhere in the kitchen with carb counts for your sons favorite snacks and serving sizes like “20 pretzels” or “1 apple with peanut butter” etc so that you don’t have to keep doing the math. You could also make a list of “free food” like deli meat/pickles/veggies/etc.
I was also diagnosed at age 13 and turned into a food monster post diagnosis as my body gained back all the weight I’d lost. Not having to do a bunch of carb math before grabbing a snack was really helpful!

Maida @Maidasussman note the wise dietary that Lise @6yGodsGr wrote in her this’d paragraph. Some wonderful, nutritious and very tasty foods that your son can eat SAFELY when he gets comfortable estimating carbohydrates AND calculating the necessary insulin to inject/infuse after taking into consideration his recent insulin dosing and activity as well as the activity he is about to begin. As a tiny example, I do not take any insulin to “cover” the 22 carbs in the Gatorade I sip during my pre-lunch walk - I find I need about 5 grams of carb per mile [at my slow old age] just to keep my BGL from dipping too much.