Guest post: Preventing diabetes
I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone do a guest post before, but Carolyn contacted me about sharing some thoughts about some of her passions, childhood diabetes and leading healthy lives. Since most of my readers are mothers, I thought this might be of interest. She links to some other great articles as well. Have a read and leave her a comment.
Easy Steps For Preventing Diabetes In Your Child
November was American Diabetes Month, and any other year this wouldn’t have meant much to me – but this year was much different. My cousin was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and it has been a shock to our whole family. I didn’t think that someone in their young teens could be diagnosed with this disease, and after doing some research on the subject I was astonished at just how prevalent it really is. In fact, according to St. Joseph’s Hospital Cardiac Center, 1 in 3 of today’s kids are diagnosed with obesity, with a fair majority of them also being diagnosed with diabetes. With children being the fastest group to develop diabetes, it is so important to understand how to prevent this disease, which is why I have started working with all of my cousins to make sure that they are on the right track to leading healthy lives.
Getting kids to eat a healthy diet isn’t as hard as it may seem. Children that are regularly given junk foods will start to prefer them, but reversing this preference with healthy foods can be done! Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and high-fiber foods are a great place to start. Instead of sugary cereal for breakfast, give your child oatmeal that is naturally sweetened with fruit and honey. Have baked fries instead of french fries. Simple swaps will not only prevent Type 2 Diabetes in your child, but they will make your whole family healthy, and let your child understand that eating healthy is a choice and not a punishment!
It’s best to make drastic food changes gradually. After eating healthy on a regular basis, your child will barely notice the difference. Switching out conventional sugary snacks and salty snacks for healthier snacks is a giant step towards healthier eating, since kids (and I’ll admit it, adults too!) love to snack.
Avoiding all processed foods is the safest bet. Eating less fatty meat and high-fat foods will also help young ones stay healthy and lean. Instead of fatty cuts of meat, choose lean types such as chicken, turkey and salmon. Mix meals up with various fruits and veggies to add lots of flavor.
Get Active & Play
“Playing” is very beneficial to children and parents, especially when trying to prevent diabetes. Going to the park is always a great activity to ensure that your child is getting enough activity. Indoor-trampoline parks are opening in big cities around the country. These are a high-energy place where you can take your child to play after school or on weekends. This activity uses lots of energy, but is also seen as a fun “playful” activity by kids.
If there’s an indoor-rock climbing wall nearby, take your child for lessons. Most gyms are more than happy to teach children the basics of climbing and get them comfortable with this kind of activity. Your child won’t know that he is exercising and getting fit because he will be having so much fun.
Yoga is also an excellent activity to start children on as soon as possible. It’s centering, relaxing and increases flexibility. Children that do yoga from a young age learn how to regulate stress and emotions, and it also builds their strength and joints as well.
Carolyn is a 20-something year old with a passion for life, fitness and overall well-being. She is an avid cycler, golfer and has been known to bust some serious moves on the dance floor. Check out Carolyn’s blog at http://fullonfit.blogspot.com/!
Thanks, Carolyn! Although my children are in no way in danger of becoming obese, I appreciate the reminder to set some healthier habits in this new year.