Diabetes Awareness {Guest Post}

In this world we live in today, more and more children are becoming obese. This is a touchy subject with a lot of people because many people just don’t know what to do or how to stop it! How do you change your ways? How do you change your eating habits? It’s something that NEEDS to be talked about and not just swept under the rug.

Today I have Carolyn here from Full on Fit to raise awareness!

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Holiday Season with Diabetes Awareness: Helping Kids  

Kids love the holidays, no matter which ones they are – and who doesn’t? Presents, sweet treats, fun decorations; it’s a time all about having fun and being with friends and family. This past November, National Diabetes Awareness Month kicked into full gear, and for the first time ever, I had a personal reason to be active in the awareness campaign: one of my little cousins had just recently been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

After doing some initial research, I realized how many families are actually affected by this disease. According to Syracuse’s St. Joseph’s Hospital Cardiac Center, 1 out of every 3 kids is overweight or obese, and the number of Type 2 Diabetes cases among children is rising. For parents who worry about their child’s diet and exercise habits, it’s never too late to start healthy, even in the midst of the holiday season.

Eating Right  

A good meal is what sets the tone for kids. With proper nutrition, “overweight” kids can overcome overeating and sugar addiction habits early on. At all times of the year, but especially with the upcoming holidays of St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, parents need to focus a child’s diet on healthier foods as much as possible.

Hearty roasted vegetables like squash, broccoli, green beans, carrots and spinach are all great options, while also allowing for smaller proportions of starchy veggies and grains like potatoes, rice, pasta and whole grain bread. This Easter dinner, try a healthy Mediterranean dish of roasted broccoli and harvest tomatoes, orange-scented green beans with toasted almonds, glazed mini carrots, cauliflower puree with garlic butter and stuffed acorn squash with cheddar and chard.

For smaller proportions, look for recipes that incorporate shrimp, turkey, chicken, mashed potatoes, cream corn and rice. Whole grain bread sides are also encouraged but should be moderately consumed. Parents can keep an eye on carbohydrates, sugar and glucose intake by reading labels and preparing meals that are low in sugar. It’s also important to make sure that kids are getting some treats and balancing their healthy meals with an occasional splurge. It’s safe for a few pieces of candy or a small slice of pie once in a while!

Exercise! 
To burn off energy, kids need to get up and move around. Overweight and obese children often suffer more because they are sedimentary and prefer to stay inside rather than move around. The best way to get kids moving is to play games, dance and get creative with “exercise” so that it doesn’t seem so daunting.
Dance Off

Families can partake in a fun dance-off challenge, where everyone gets together and shows their best moves. Kids can make up their own dances to songs and receive silly awards for craziest moves, most daring spins, etc.  The point is to get kids to dance for an hour and burn calories in a silly way that’s also fun, becoming a fun family tradition tradition.


Family Fun Days
For one week, plan events every day to do as a family that are active and outdoors as part of “Family Fun Days.” This can be competitive or just for fun. One day could be a basketball game, the next scavenger hunt/Easter Egg Hunt or St. Patrick’s Day scavenger hunt for the leprechaun’s gold! . Each day can have a different yet active event to get kids up and moving around!   

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/!

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Thanks Carolyn! That was great. I think her suggestions are something each of us need to take in to consideration. Let’s get {and keep!} our kids healthy! Be sure to stop by her blog and say HI!

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