Guest Post: Keeping Kids Happy and Healthy to Prevent Diabetes

According to Diabetes Australia 1.7 million Australians have diabetes, with an estimated 280 Australians developing the condition every day. As diabetes is an insidious disease that has the potential to affect all parts of the body as well as having huge impacts on quality of life, those are very worrying numbers.

I have a niece and a cousin with type 1 diabetes as well as an uncle with type 2. I confess I truly did not realise just how debilitating the condition can be until I witnessed the endless blood glucose testing, insulin injections and the weighing and measuring of carbohydrates that my niece has to endure every single day.

When Carolyn from Full on Fit asked if she could talk about diabetes prevention on the blog, I was more than happy to spread the word. Her message is clear – a healthy diet and an active lifestyle can go a long way to preventing the development of type 2 as well as helping to manage type 1 diabetes too.

If you wish to find out more about diabetes and it’s prevention in Australia please check out these sites:

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Diabetes Australia

For now, please take the time to read Carolyn’s post and become more diabetes aware.

Trying out the jumping pillow

Every parent wants their child to be happy and healthy. November was American Diabetes Month, and normally, this wouldn’t have meant much to me personally. That all changed when my cousin was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes; because of this, I have become much more personally vested in the fight against this disease.

Obesity and lack of physical activity are the main causes for Type 2 Diabetes in children. And according to information from St. Joseph’s Hospital Cardiac Center, if left untreated, diabetes can lead to even more serious consequences, such as eye problems or blindness, heart disease, neurological problems, and more. This was a shock to me, but knowing the proper ways to prevent this disease is the best way to ensure that my other cousins, and every other child out there, will stay healthy for years to come.

A healthy diet
Simple changes in your child’s life can help keep Type 2 Diabetes at bay. Avoiding high-fat and salty foods is a great way to start.  Also, according to the American Diabetes Association, incorporating some vegetarian dishes can make a huge difference in your kids’ lives. Some examples we like to use include:

– hummus with cut-up veggies

– vegetable quesadillas

– tangy fruit salsa

– yummy sweet potato soup

Make sure to always have on-hand satisfying and healthy snacks, like low-fat cheese, apples, carrot sticks, and even homemade trail mix so your kids can feel full and satisfied with a quick snack. You can make eating healthy fun for your kids by letting them help pick the healthy foods they’d like to eat when you go shopping, and even allowing them to help prepare some of the meal (my cousins love to help chop and mix!).

An active lifestyle
Keeping your kids active is also extremely important when it comes to preventing Type 2 Diabetes. Just sending the kids out to play by themselves often isn’t enough to motivate them. Get kids active by getting them to try a new activity, like Yoga, or enrolling your kids in a sport that they enjoy. In allowing them to interact with other kids in sports or workout programs, they can feel more motivated to stay heart healthy and be healthy and feel good all around.

You can provide a great example for your children as well by simply playing with them outdoors, going for nature hikes or bike rides, and encouraging them to do more than watch TV or play video games. However, it is important to note that using kids video games for good can be done! We like to break out the Dance Dance Revolution game and have silly dance competitions on the weekends – and it’s something that anyone can participate in.

In taking proper precautions to prevent Type 2 Diabetes in your child, you help them develop healthy habits, a positive image of themselves, and keep them heart-healthy for life. Since preventing diabetes is all about lifestyle changes, as a family you can work with your children to be as healthy as possible and make great choices to be healthy, happy and energetic for years to come!

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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/

Thanks so much for that message Carolyn! Today I’m helping to spread the word via the following awesome linkups:

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26 Responses

  1. Worthwhile message and always good for a reminder….
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted..Argo F%*k yourself!

  2. Grace says:

    Thanks for the valuable information, Carolyn.
    My brother has Type 2 diabetes and my cousin has Type 1 so it’s in our family.
    It’s so easy to forget how common juvenile diabetes is and become laxed on our children’s diets or the amount of exercise they need.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    Grace recently posted..FYBF Featured Flogger – Em from Have a Laugh on Me

    • Thank you for the kind words Grace. I’m sorry to hear that it is in your family as well… I hope that everyone is doing well and able to manage it. It’s definitely one of those kinds of things that is not a hard thing to prevent IF you have the right information and you carry it out!
      Carolyn Fallon recently posted..Rave Yoga

  3. Sabeen says:

    Some great info there Carolyn especially these days when kids lifestyles are becoming increasingly sedentary thanks to tech overload. Your post made me promise myself to do ore active stuff with my boys this weekend x
    Sabeen recently posted..A Courageous Path.

  4. Excellent post, and so important. My maternal Grandmother had Type-2 diabetes and so does my father. I never knew that this alone was enough to put me in the high-risk category for gestational diabetes, and sure enough I developed it. I’m now at an even higher risk of developing Type-2 later in life so I am certainly going to be taking even more steps after this next bub is born to lower my risk as much as possible. I am hoping that better lifestyle choices this pregnancy will lower my chances of developing gestational diabetes this time around but who knows. All I can do is eat as well and exercise as much as possible and hope for the best. But the experience with GD has been enough to make me determined to avoid Type-2.

    • Kylez, I’m so sorry to hear about your own personal experience with both types of diabetes. It’s a scary disease that affects so many people, and yet there are many people that don’t take the time to get themselves checked out. I hope that this next time goes much better for you! Keep exercising and eating as healthy as you can — you have the first hard part down, the information — now just keep going! Feel free to email me if you ever have questions or need some words of encouragement 🙂
      Carolyn Fallon recently posted..Rave Yoga

  5. Me says:

    Wow – thanks for this – always good to have some tips on how to improve our lifestyle.
    Have a great day and thanks so much for sharing !
    Me
    Me recently posted..Things I Know

  6. Great, informative post. Over the years I’ve interviewed many people with diabetics and it’s no picnic. I also flatted with a guy in my younger years who was insulin dependent and had to be very careful with eating and drinking – something most of us do without a second thought xx Em
    Emily @ Have a laugh on me recently posted..On being told Gen Y are the shiz and are going to rule the world

    • Emily, thanks so much for your kind words. It’s a scary thing when people you care about have to be so dependent on insulin — a feeling of helplessness starts to creep in. But it’s good to know that there are ways to both prevent and manage this disease if people just arm themselves with the right kind of information!
      Carolyn Fallon recently posted..Rave Yoga

  7. Ness says:

    Very informative Carolyn. I’m afraid I’ve already passed on my sugar addiction to my boys which is not classy. We are active but diet is something I definitely need to improve on.
    Ness recently posted..Bogan Mrs Bean

    • Ness, being active is halfway there! I know I struggle sometimes with the healthy diet part too — it’s so ingrained in our culture to eat “junk food” — sometimes without even realizing how unhealthy we are eating! Just keep trying to get informed as possible and make small changes at a time! You can do it!
      Carolyn Fallon recently posted..Rave Yoga

  8. Fabulous post with a really important message.

    So many kids these days eat crap *all* the time. I see it so often and feel a little sick every time. I know my kids don’t have the most fabulous diet, but we eat within our means and keep the crap to a bare minimum.

    Thanks for linking up to TIK 😀

    MC xxx
    Miss Cinders recently posted..things i know

  9. Robomum says:

    Good on you for posting this. Very worthwhile message, especially as pack lunches and snacks for school.
    Robomum recently posted..Oh Mr Hart, What a Mess!

  10. This is a really great post.
    It is such a very important area and diet can play a massive part.
    I just interviewed an amazing man on my blog, with a background working with medical professionals who cured himself of type 2 diabetes and started an amazing free community health program here in Australia, you might find interesting.
    His name is Peter Pratt and he just started the community program the Diabetic Health Clinic, an amazing man he has inspired me so much, even thouigh I don’t have diabetes my grandmother did so it has always been in the back of my mind too.

    Health is so important and yet we so often underestimate the importance of it in our lives. When I got sick last year and found myself in hospital it really, really came home to me if we don’t have our health, we have nothing.

    When it comes to our kids giving them the best chance at a happy and healthy life is everything.

    Fantastic post, thank you XX
    Rebecca Mugridge recently posted..FEATURED – Women’s Running Australia Magazine

    • Rebecca,

      Thank you so much for your kind words and the great information you passed along. I love hearing inspiration stories about people who are able to take unfortunate situations and turn them into positive ones. It’s so great to hear that Peter was able to be cured of Type 2 (it also gives me renewed hope for my own cousin!) and that he is giving back to others who can benefits from his experience. Thank you so much for sharing that!
      Carolyn Fallon recently posted..Rave Yoga

  11. Loki says:

    Great post, I often find that wanting to keep them happy and also healthy can lead to a war zone of arguments! Anything to make that easier

  12. Shari says:

    Excellent information Carolyn – it’s certainly something that we can all help prevent in so many cases x
    Shari recently posted..D-D-Date Night

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