WHEN food writer Vickie De Beer’s son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, they tackled it as a family – which meant transforming mealtimes. She’s spoken out about the personal discoveries that inspired her new cookbook.

Mum Vickie said she knew something was wrong when her normally energetic eight-year-old son Lucca began to struggle to wake in the mornings.

At first, Vickie – a food writer, chef and stylist, thought Lucca might have a throat infection.

But an appointment with their doctor, revealed her son had Type 1 diabetes. Unlike Type 2, it is not linked with lifestyle or weight, and usually appears during childhood.

Family mealtimes were adjusted.

Vickie said: “From the moment Lucca was diagnosed, we decided that we would deal with his diabetes as a family unit. This was not only Lucca’s problem. We changed the way the whole family ate.”

On the advice of medics, the family stuck to a wholegrain, low GI (glycemic index) diet, keeping a close check on carbohydrate counts.

Drawing on her food background, Vickie set about creating a low-carb plan in an attempt to help.

Instead of starchy ‘white’ foods like pasta, bread and cakes they eat fibrous green vegetables, like courgette noodles and green beans.

Vickie said: “His blood sugars are more stable and he also had more energy and far less anxiety.”

Now, Vickie has teamed up with dietitian Kath Megaw, refining the recipes in a new cookbook.

The Diabetes Cookbook: Low Carb Recipes For The Whole Family is packed with practical advice for people living with diabetes and family-friendly recipes.

Vickie said: “Diabetes changes your life quite significantly. Everything must be planned. Our new low-carb diet has really improved the fluctuating sugars a lot, and with it, our quality of life.”

Try out this recipe for Carbonara zoodles from the cook book:

n Ingredients: 500g large courgettes, cut into strips, 30g butter, 250g streaky bacon, cut into cubes, 250ml double cream, 2 eggs, 60g grated Parmesan cheese, salt and freshly ground black pepper, a handful of chopped parsley, to serve.

n Method: Bring a large saucepan with salted water to the boil. Cook the courgettes for 30 seconds in the boiling water. Drain and set aside.

In a large frying pan, heat the butter over a medium-high heat. Add the bacon and fry until crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside (keep the bacon fat in the pan).

Combine the cream, eggs and Parmesan in a bowl or measuring jug. Season with salt and pepper. Add to the frying pan and stir over a low heat until the sauce starts to thicken. Toss the courgettes through the sauce and crumble the bacon over the top and chopped parsley.