Diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar, or glucose, is abnormally high.
Glucose is produced in our liver and muscles and from the food we ingest.
High blood glucose can harm numerous body areas, including the heart, eyes, kidneys, and nerves, if uncontrolled for several years.
Whereas Type 2 diabetes is a chronic illness that prevents your body from properly utilizing Insulin and Insulin Resistance, a term used to describe people with type 2 diabetes.
Thus, diabetes management aims to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as feasible.
Some people believe that excessive sugar consumption causes diabetes, and however, this is not the case, especially not in children.
Type 2 Diabetes in Kids
Although, adults are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and it was previously known as adult-onset diabetes.
However, due to the healthy lifestyle crisis and increasing obesity pandemic in kids, type 2 diabetes in youngsters is on the rise.
Medical studies have also shown that obesity and Type 2 diabetes affect more children than ever before.
This article will hereby provide you with information about type 2 diabetes in kids and how to reduce your child’s chance of developing it by changing some simple food eating habits.
What puts your kids at risk of diabetes?
Even though many kids have identified risk factors, researchers don’t fully understand why some kids develop type 2 diabetes while others do not.
Certain circumstances, however, clearly enhance the risk, including:
1. Being Overweight
Being extremely overweight is a substantial risk factor for type 2 diabetes in youngsters.
The more fatty tissue a child has, particularly around the abdomen, the more insulin resistant their cells become.
2. Inactive Lifestyle
Your child’s risk of type 2 diabetes increases as they become less active.
Physical activity helps your child maintain a healthy weight, burns glucose for energy, and improves insulin sensitivity in their cells.
3. Diabetic History of the Family
If any parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes, a child’s risk of developing the disease rises.
4. Ethnicity or Race
Although this is unknown, few ethnic groups, such as Black, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian Americans, are more likely to develop symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
5. Age and Gender
Many children in their early adolescence have chances to develop type 2 diabetes.
Especially, adolescent girls are more likely than adolescent boys to develop type 2 diabetes.
6. Pregnancy Weight Gain & Gestational Diabetes
Low weight during birth and being born to a mother who had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy are closely linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes later in life.
7. Premature Birth
It is when a baby is born too soon. Premature babies born before 39 to 42 weeks of pregnancy have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes in Children
Some parents are ignorant of type 2 diabetes warning indications.
Usually, when parents visit their kid’s doctor for a regular check-up, they discover their child has type 2 diabetes.
So, if your kid is prone to have type 2 diabetes, you may see the following warning signs:
- Urinate frequently
- Lose weight for no apparent reason
- Be highly thirsty all the time
- Feel exhausted for no reason
- Have thick black skin on the neck or under the arms
How to Lower the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Kids?
There are numerous aspects to consider, but healthy lifestyle choices are best practices.
This is the best way to help youngsters avoid developing type 2 diabetes.
If your kid already has type 2 diabetes, making lifestyle changes can help them use fewer drugs and avoid serious health problems. So, encourage your youngster to do the following:
Consume More Nutritious Foods
Provide your child with low-fat, low-calorie foods.
Teach your kids to prioritize eating fresh fruits, green vegetables, and whole grains daily.
To avoid boredom, strive for variety and cook for your kids creatively.
Tell them to avoid eating highly processed packaged junk foods.
Increase Your Kid’s Physical Activity
Encourage your child to participate in sports. Enroll your youngster in a sports team or dance lessons, or look for other active activities to do as a family daily (like a yoga class with kids!).
Adults can benefit from the same lifestyle habits to help avoid type 2 diabetes in their children in the future.
So, if you are a mother with diabetes, the best diabetic diet for your child is also the best diabetes diet for the entire family.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips For Type 2 Diabetes in Kids
Here are some tips on eating well and maintaining a healthy weight. Every day, eat a variety of healthful meals.
Before starting any weight-loss program, consult your doctor if you are overweight.
Your kids must consume fewer calories and exercise more frequently each day to reduce their body weight.
Here are some ideas for how to go about it:
Cut Off Excess Calories
The quantity of calories in a portion of food indicates how much energy it contains.
To lose weight, consume 200 to 300 calories less per day than usual. Here are some easy strategies to lose weight:
- Instead of a 20-ounce soda or carbonated drink, drink more water. You can lose roughly 250 calories this way.
- Cut approximately 250 calories by eating a modest portion of french fries or sharing a large one.
- Instead of a processed candy bar or a bag of sodium-full chips, eat a piece of fresh fruit (apple, orange, or banana). You’ll lose around 200 calories. Fruit is a good choice if you want something crisp to chew on that fills you up.
- Teach kids not to skip their meals; this will save kids from overeating. Try a couple of slices of whole-grain toast with a spoonful of peanut butter, a hard-boiled egg, or a low-fat cheese slice for breakfast.
- Make a healthy lunch for your children. Make a turkey or lean beef sandwich. Use a bit of low-fat mayonnaise or mustard. Instead of chips, use fruits for snacks.
- Fresh salads and vegetables should take up half of your plate. Use only a few tablespoons of margarine or salad dressing.
Be More Active
Always consult your doctor before starting any physical exercise program with your child if overweight.
Stick to the following tips:
- To begin, set simple goals for your kids. Don’t make them frustrated if they can’t do much at first or if they get out of breath. Any quantity of activity is beneficial. Each week, keep adding a bit more.
- Motivate your kids to play hard for at least 60 minutes almost every day. It’s unnecessary to do it all at once; 20 minutes three times a day is enough. There are numerous options for increasing your mobility. Take a walk, ride your bike, dance, play basketball, or shoot some hoops. Let kids make their own decision!
- Enroll your child as a sports team member (let them choose the sport) or enroll them in physical education programs. Inquire with an adult or their teacher about sports or dancing activities that they could participate in.
- Parents should advise kids to limit their time watching TV and playing video games to less than one hour each day. Request that they have to become more active in their spare time
The Bottom Line
Healthy lifestyle choices are the best way to help your kids beat type 2 diabetes faster.
A healthy lifestyle is not that easy to follow, especially for young children.
So, you have to be more creative with your recipes and work out with them to make them feel more motivated throughout. Talk to your kids about the health benefits of an active lifestyle, explain in detail.
Plan regular blood sugar monitoring tests and be on their side if they feel depressive or low on motivation.
Please do not be harsh on your kids by forcing them to work out vigorously or eat healthy all the time.
It’s ok to skip the workouts or eat a cheat meal once in a while, so let them enjoy that in moderation too!
If you feel like you cannot help them, set up a meeting with a health care professional or any other medical counselor.
Positive brainstorming sessions and healthy lifestyle counseling will also help your child find the right motivation to eat healthily and work out daily.