Type 2 diabetes was for a long time considered a middle-age illness. Unfortunately Australian children and children around the world are now being diagnosed with the disease. Did you know type 2 diabetes can be prevented? Indeed whilst genetic factors are involved, environmental factors are the trigger. Environmental factors in this case are all about what children eat and how much they move about. How can you as a parent create an environment that will keep your child healthy?
- Take some time to become a role model : cook and prepare food with your kids. Adopt water as the family only necessary drink. If soft drinks are part of your family eating culture, then make sure they are not allowed between meals.
- Make sure your child’s dietary habits (and yours) include fibre through fruit, vegetables, legumes and wholemeal grains (wholemeal pasta/bread, brown rice, barley etc). Try cooking legumes a few times a week (tins of beans, lentils, chickpeas are an easy option which can be used to produce yummy meals).
- If you are going to give the occasional sweet then you can do so with a meal, i.e not on its own.
- Eating should not happen in front of a screen (TV, computer,Ipad etc) to avoid your child eating out of boredom.
- Make sure your child is on the move, every day.
- Do not restrict your kids’ food intake or force them to eat some foods, rather influence what is eaten by choosing what will be available at meal times.
- Go gently on changes, if you are starting adding some of the recommendations I made, when your family eating culture is lacking structure, you may end up putting pressure on your child, and this will backfire, guaranteed. Remember that the ground work you do now can prevent the onset of the illness later, but a lot should be considered first.
#diabetestype2 #children #exercise #fibre