Ways to Help Prevent Diabeties and Child Obesity
Children With the Risk of Diabetes
Dealing with a child with Diabetes or the risk of Diabetes can sometimes be difficult. A child can have a really hard time understanding why they cannot eat the same foods as all the other children. My child, thank God, does not have Diabetes, but is at risk according to her doctors. She is also very susceptible to weigh gain for no apparent reason. Because of these conditions, I have to be very careful in watching her diet.
Small Changes Help Control Weight and Sugar Intake
I have made some small but helpful changes in the way that she eats. To tell you the truth, she was never really a bad eater. She is not the type of child to eat all day long and always ask for junk food, and still she would gain weight. Here are some changes that I have made to ensure that she is eating the best diet possible for her.
Eating Whole Wheat Bread
The first thing that I changed in her diet was bread. I use to buy white bread but now I only buy wheat and whole grain breads. We prefer honey wheat. White bread contains bleach and is refined - eliminating the nutritional content of the grain and fiber. It also raises blood sugar. When buying waffles I buy whole-wheat waffles and I try to use brown rice instead of white for the same reasons.
Low Sugar or No Sugar Products
When it comes to purchasing foods with lower or no sugar I have found that changing out your regular products with these products will help in reducing the sugar intake of your child;
- Sugar Free Puddings and Jell-O’s
- Sugar Free Chocolate syrup for chocolate milk
- Sugar Free Syrup for waffles and pancakes
- Sugar Free Chocolate Candy
- Sugar Free Kool-Aid
- Wal-Mart carbonated flavored water
- Sugar Free Ice pops
- Sugar Free Ice cream
- She loves Special K chocolate delight cereal (It contains some sugar but it is a lot less than other cereals)
- Sugar Free Cookies
Healthy Low Fat Snack
People with Diabetes or at risk of diabetes can still consume fruit. One healthy snack that I will make for my daughter is a homemade shake:
I will combine two cups fat free milk, one banana, about 5 strawberries, ice and a little sugar free chocolate syrup in the blender and blend for about 30 seconds or until fully mixed. It is delicious and extremely healthy. She loves it.
Some healthy snack choices:
- Dried Fruit
- Low fat cheese
- Cottage Cheese
Reading Food Labels is Important
Remember that you need to read the labels on everything. It does not mean that if its low fat, its low sugar. If you were to look at the back of a weight watchers treat or dessert, you will notice that the sugar is still really high so buying these products will not help reduce your child’s sugar intake.
Low Fat Diets For Children
Since she is also susceptible to gaining weight for no apparent reason, on top of watching her sugar I need to watch her calories and fat intake. Some changes that I have made in buying food are as follows;
- She drinks only skim milk
- I only use canola oil
- Again changing all the white breads to wheat also helps reduce fat.
- If we buy hot dogs, sausages or bacon, I buy turkey instead of pork or beef.
- Lots of veggies with a low fat ranch dressing
- If I buy chips I buy either baked or the veggie chips (which taste great by the way)
- Low Fat Mayo
- Low fat yogurt with the cookie topping
- I try to cut soda out to almost zero. I do let her once in a while have a small glass, but not very often.
- If buying ground beef, I buy only 93/7
- We eat lots of chicken
- Snack on wheat crackers, sometimes we use Nutella on top.
- Fat free sour cream
- Smart Balance Butter
Our Children Must Eat Balanced Meals and Get Active!
Luckily we now have a lot of choices when it comes to food. Just by looking at the labels, we can easily determine which foods is the best choice. We all need to have fat in our diets, but it is the Saturated fats that we need to be aware of.
Remember that physical activity is also very important in maintaining a healthy body! So on top of eating properly make sure that your child is getting the exercise that they need. Being over weight is a big part of becoming Diabetic and plays a big factor on their overall health.
I am trying my best to have my daughter live a normal life style and eat foods that she loves. I will not lie and say that she never eats a happy meal, but I only allow it as a treat. I try to go to fast food restaurants about once a month, and if I do have to eat on the go, then I will choose a sub instead.
In my opinion you do not want to totally cut all of the goodies out of their lives. If they go to a birthday party or it is a special occasion, having a little treat should be ok, but in our everyday lives we need to make sure that our children are getting the best nutrition possible. With all of the go, go, go of today, people are choosing the wrong foods and becoming very unhealthy. Even if your child does not have any health issues, it is always best to make sure they have a balanced meal!
Even as adults we do not like the word "diet". Please feel free to check out my article regarding losing weight without dieting. Eating should be a lifestyle!