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July 5th, 2018

Preventing diabetes in your child

Dealing with diabetes can be a lifelong battle, reduce the chances of your child developing Type 2 diabetes with our helpful tips for encouraging your children to make healthy choices from the very start.

Can you prevent diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is where your pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin. This cannot be prevented and will need to inject yourself with insulin. Type 2 is very common, with 90% of all the people with diabetes having Type 2. Type 2 diabetes is when your body doesn’t make enough insulin or insulin that the body can use properly. Unlike Type 1, this can be prevented and managed through self monitoring blood sugars.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed from infant to around 30 years old. Type 2 diabetes tends to get diagnosed a lot later in life, however with the significant increase in sugar content in all our foods, Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common in children as more children are overweight or obese.

How do I know if my child has diabetes?

According to the NHS the symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Feeling very tired
  • Peeing more than usual (especially in the night)
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Blurred vision
  • Losing weight
  • Repeated thrush

These are symptoms for both Type 1 and Type 2, however Type 1 symptoms come on quickly, especially in children, whereas Type 2 symptoms can take a long time to develop.

How to prevent it?

  • Implement a healthy diet

    Low fat and nutrient rich foods such a whole wheat cereals, dairy products, lean proteins, increase the amount of vegetables at mealtimes, try to avoid processed foods.

  • Limit sugar foods and drinks

    “I implemented sugary foods such as chocolate or sweets as a treat. This way my children understood that it isn’t meant to be apart of your daily diet and should only be eaten on special occasions” Mrs Ayrton, mother of four.

  • Encourage lots of physical activity

    Arrange for your child to do lots of activities such as swimming lessons, football or ballet practices, taking them to the park to do running races or obstacle courses with their friends. Children need to eat more than adults, this way they will burn off a lot of the energy and reduce the risk of becoming overweight.

  • Prepare snacks in advanced

    With sugar being in everything, it is a lot harder to find healthier snacks in stores. If you prepare snacks ahead of time you won’t be swayed to stop off at a convenience store and buy an unhealthy snack.

    Mrs Salmon “I only allowed my children to have a naughty snack as a treat on a friday night. When my children got the sugar craving I tired to substitute it with healthier options for instance popcorn, raisins or fruit.”

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