{Guest Post} Preventing Diabetes Among Children

Hello friends! Today I have something special for you. Here I have a guest post about Childhood Diabetes by Carolyn. 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/!

Without further ado, Carolyn take it away.....

Preventing Diabetes Among Children

Not too long ago, my family learned that one of my little cousins was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  This was a complete shock to us all – I knew that she had been struggling with her weight, but I never realized someone her age (she’s only 13!) could develop Type 2. However, after talking to her doctors and doing some research, I learned that we were not alone in this issue. According to information from St. Joseph’s
Cardiac Hospital of Syracuse, 215,000 children under the age of 20 have been diagnosed (yes, the total number of people – who have it but haven’t been diagnosed – is much larger) with Type 2, and this number continues to grow exponentially. 

Knowing how common this disease has become among children encouraged our family to learn as much as we can on how to manage it, and prevent it for my other little cousins.  Given how common diabetes is, and how fast it is growing within the global population, and especially among children, it is up to families to take the active steps necessary to help children avoid Type 2. Due to the fact that Type 2 is largely connected with obesity, the best ways to prevent it is through proper nutrition, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep.  Here are some tips to consider:

A Healthy Diet
The first thing to do when trying to eat healthier is to get rid of the junk food. Yes – get rid of it! If you don’t have it in the house you can’t eat it, and if you stock up the house with healthy foods you are more likely to eat it when you’re hungry. You know the foods I am talking about, too – the ones that are full of salt, sugar, and
artificial preservatives. Also, ditch the sodas and sugary juices, the fatty meats, and the processed foods – you know, the things that tend to be the quickest to make because they are microwaveable!

Although they may not be excited at first, continue to encourage children to eat healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, protein, and whole grains every day.  Finding ways to make these foods appealing can call for a little bit of creativity, but the long-term benefits are worth totally worth it!

One healthy breakfast snack your kids will be sure to enjoy is a yogurt, fruit, and granola parfait.  You can put it in a pretty glass so that your kids believe it is dessert.

You can make it with the following ingredients:

1/4 cup of granola
1 cup of plain yogurt
Chopped fruits of your choice – banana, apple, strawberry, blueberry…
1 teaspoon of pure maple syrup or honey

Half of the granola is placed into the glass first, then half the yogurt is added, followed by half the cut-up fruit. Repeat the first step again, and top if off with the syrup or honey! Here’s another great
site that we like to use as inspiration for healthy meals!

Your children should be encouraged to exercise regularly to prevent obesity and diabetes.  Activities that will help them remain healthy are activities such as bike-riding, jumping rope, swimming, soccer, basketball or other sports that may interesting to them.  They can also mow the lawn or walk the dog to be physically active – the key here is to get them moving and get their hearts pumping every day!

Recent academic studies have found
a link between inadequate sleep among children and obesity later in life.  Your children should average at least eight hours of sleep per night, with nine or ten being optimal.  Kids who average less than eight hours of sleep per night, or whose sleep patterns are irregular, may develop lifelong metabolic problems leading to obesity, and possibly, Type 2 Diabetes.  

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