Keeping Kids Healthy

Dec 21, 2012

A few weeks ago Carolyn over at Full-On Fit emailed me about doing a guest post. Since Shelly and I joined forces we haven't had any guest posters but we definitely still love them! Carolyn wanted to share her personal experiences with keeping children healthy and as a soon-to-be mom I couldn't say no to that. I can always use a few extra tips (and the overprotective parent in me loves them). I hope you enjoy her tips as much as I did! xo Sue


Keeping Kids Healthy: Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Tips

In addition to Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season, November was American Diabetes Month. Although in the past this wasn’t something I paid much attention to, my family’s world was turned around when my little cousin was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. After doing some research on how to help her, I was astonished to find that this type of diabetes is way more common in children than it was just 20 years ago! According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 3,700 children are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and this number continues to grow each year as lack of physical activity and obesity rates rise in children.

Although Type 2 Diabetes can be caused by genetics, for most children, it's brought on by poor eating habits, lack of physical activity, and being at an unhealthy weight. The good news is that diabetes caused by these three factors can be prevented with simple changes in diet and exercise. 

The right kinds of food
Foods with whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice help stabilize blood glucose levels. Daily servings of three to five fruits and vegetables provide nutrients children need, with fruits satisfying their sweet tooth. Look for antioxidant-rich produce that's high in fiber, such as berries, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, and beans. For additional food options, check out the American Diabetes Association

For fun ways to get kids eating healthy, have them help out in the kitchen.  Make healthy "ice cream" by sweetening plain yogurt with honey or agave nectar and freeze it. Let the kids make toppings with fruits and nuts. Also, get their input into what they would like for dinner or a snack that night – and then adjust their suggestion if need be.

Get your move on
Getting active can be fun, too. Have the whole family engage in sports such as indoor basketball or martial arts. Depending on where you live, let children go out and play in the snow for a couple of hours, or have races on the beach. Yoga is also a fun, unique way of getting children active. It not only increases flexibility, but studies have shown that it can lower stress levels, another factor that can bring about Type 2 Diabetes. Best of all, it can be done indoors when the weather outside is too cold.

Cardiac surgeons from St. Joseph’s Hospital Cardiac Center warn that proper preventive care is key to children living full, healthy lives. These measures not only help prevent Type 2 Diabetes, but they also can be used to avoid heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, and many other serious diseases. With the holidays upon us, it’s the perfect time to maintain your child's health by providing them with food that's both nutritious and yummy for them!  

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, Full-On Fit

1 comment:

  1. That is some much needed insight! I know as I am introducing foods to my baby, I will keep this in mind and make sure she gets the really good foods :) Thank you for sharing Carolyn!


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