Tens of thousands of children in Canada have diabetes. According to Ottawa Public Health, there could be as many as 1-million Canadians who have type 2 diabetes and do not know it. Most people who discover they have type 2 diabetes are children. While there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, there are ways to control it. Further, keeping your children in good health can keep them from developing it in many cases.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin regulates your metabolism and aids in the absorption of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Type 1 Diabetes is usually treated with insulin injections and medication.
Type 2 Diabetes happens when the body does not produce enough insulin or no longer uses the insulin it produces properly. This causes organs such as the kidneys, liver, heart, and eyes to fail. Type 2 Diabetes is usually controlled with proper diet, exercise, and sometimes oral medication.
If your child is healthy, it is much easier to keep them healthy than to help them recover when they get sick. The key to prevention is diet and exercise.
NOTE: This does not mean your child can have no sugar, must participate in sports, or that you have to monitor every bite of food they take. It is all about balance.
Always consult your child’s doctor before changing their nutritional health. Be sure you are aware of anything that would require special foods, drinks, or conditions that may be affected by exercise.
Just like every family needs a first aid kit, every family needs a blood glucose monitor. This is something to have on hand for any member of the family. If someone begins feeling shaky or ill after meals, or if they feel shaky and out-of-sorts in the morning, they could have high or low blood glucose. It is very fast and easy to check their status with a simple drop of blood. To get a Bayer meter coupon, click the link.
This meter is made by Ascensia Diabetes Care. They are a leading manufacturer of diabetic supplies in the world. Ascensia Diabetes Care is more than just meters and blood strips. They have dedicated three-quarters of a century in the research and development of diabetes. They would love nothing more than to find a cure for this disease. However, until that day comes, they have teams of experts who work hard every day to ensure diabetics have the necessary tools they need to live healthy lives and full lifespans.
The following eating guidelines are from Kids Health. This basic formula is for any child. It is specifically recommended to parents who want to ensure their children are eating in a way that discourages diabetes.
- About 10% – 20% of the calories you feed your child should be from protein. Select lean meats like chicken or beef. Use other sources like eggs and cheese if your child will not eat enough meat.
- Avoid (limit) foods with trans fat or saturated fat. 25% – 30% of calories should come from healthy fats.
- About 50% to 60% of the calories your child eats should come from carbs. Encourage your child to eat lots of green and orange vegetables every day — like carrots and broccoli. And choose vitamin-rich brown rice or sweet potatoes instead of white rice or potatoes.
- Keep sugary snacks and foods out of the house.
- Talk to the people who your children visit, such as grandparents, that you do not want them given candy and sweets.
- Set a good example.
- Never use food as a punishment (if you don’t do this – no treat this week) or a reward (if you pick up your toys, you can have ice cream)
- Snacks and meals are eaten at the table. Establish eating as a routine thing we do, not as a mindless habit we do as we watch tv.
- Keep clear roles – parents decide what food to provide and a child decides if they eat or not. Teach them early to taste everything on their plate and this will not be a problem. If you struggle when they are a bit older, stand your ground. A child will not choose the right foods on his own. He doesn’t know about nutritional value, only taste.
Exercise – Activity
When it comes to children, exercise does not have to mean dance class, sports, or teams. It can mean all of those things and that is great. But, you can keep your child healthy simply by encouraging healthy activity. Kids are naturally curious and they love to be with people who love them. So, a fun walk outside or silly games like hopping from one stone to another, or splashing in rain puddles are a lot of fun. The point is to move their bodies and let their bodies work at their peak performance.
There are plenty of indoor things you can do too. Hide-and-seek is a good indoor game to keep them entertained and moving. Turn on some music and dance with them. Or, do what parents have done for generations, give them a duster and paper towels and let them “help you” clean up. Kids can pick up toys, put away clothes, dust baseboards, and do all kinds of little jobs. They are busy and moving and you are teaching them to be a contributing member of the home.