Thursday, January 17, 2013

Meal Tips to Help Prevent Your Child From Developing Diabetes

by guest blogger Carolyn

I am a fitness fanatic. While my girlfriends spend Saturdays driving to the mall, I spend mine biking to the health food store. Sure, I’ll join my best girls for a pizza occasionally – but by the time they’re devouring their second slices, I’m probably still blotting the excess oil off of my first. Health consciousness runs in my family – which is why we were all devastated when my younger cousin was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes is due to the body’s inability to create an adequate amount of insulin or put that insulin to the right use. The fortunate part is the illness can be controlled through proper diet, exercise and weight-maintenance. According to research from St. Joseph’s Hospital Cardiac Services, there are about 215,000 people under age 20 with the disease, and this number continues to grow. We can lower that statistic by taking measures to instill healthy, diabetes-preventive eating habits in our children. That may sound like a grueling task, but incorporating kid-friendly, diabetes-preventive meals doesn't have to be difficult – even at dinnertime, which can be pretty chaotic already!
Healthy Nutrition
Healthy meals to help stave off a diabetes diagnosis should be rich in protein and low in sugar. When preparing your child’s food, incorporate a balance of lean proteins and veggies, but not too many carbs – a simple stir-fry is perfect. While sweets and fats should be kept to a minimum, some can actually be good for your child. For instance, Prevention magazine mentions dark chocolate and peanut butter as diabetic power foods – sounds like great dessert to me!

Other dinner ideas are cheese quesadillas with low-carb tortillas, hamburgers with hefty lettuce-leafs instead of the bun, chicken fingers “breaded” in parmesan cheese and baked instead of fried, “spaghetti” using shredded spaghetti squash in place of noodles, and for kids who like breakfast for dinner: try a whole-grain waffle sandwich spread with honey and bananas.

Perhaps the best way to get your kids to adjust their diet is to make them part of the process. Present them with a list of diabetic-friendly snacks, and ask them to circle their favorites. When shopping, create a scavenger hunt by designating certain items they need to find throughout the market. And don’t forget to have them cook with you – my cousins looooove eating their own creations! The earlier you teach your children healthy eating habits, the lower their chances are of being diagnosed with diabetes.

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

1 comment:

  1. I would encourage people to be careful about buying anything labeled "low-carb" by reading the ingredients. Companies stick some crazy stuff into such products to approximate regular (non-low-carb) versions. Actually, I would encourage people to be careful about reading ingredient lists period!