***My son is having his surgery this morning and I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to have my first guest blogger! Consider your health and the health of the little ones around you today in this guest post by Carolyn. Carolyn blogs at Full on Fit. ***
Last November was a pretty significant month for my family. It was National Diabetes Month, and ironically, it was the same month that we found out that one of my younger cousins was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. It was a shock to our whole family – we knew she had some serious weight challenges, but I never believed that she could develop such a serious disease as diabetes. After talking to numerous doctors and doing our own research, we vowed as a family to work together to get my cousin healthier, and to take better preventative measures to make sure no one else in the family developed this disease as well.
February is National Heart Month, and what better time than now to work together with your own family to prevent your own children from developing Type 2? According to Syracuse’s Cardiac Hospital, there are currently 215,000 children under age 20 that are diagnosed with diabetes, and this number is growing at an exponential rate. What’s more, there are seven million people who are unaware that they even have the disease! If we want to ensure our children live long, healthy lives, its up to us as parents and family members to do all we can to prevent it.
Celebrate National Heart Month by Developing Healthy Eating Habits Since obesity is one of the main factors in the development of Type 2 Diabetes, it is imperative to eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight. Healthy eating habits can help to keep blood glucose and insulin levels stabilized and prevent diabetes.
Here are some tips:
Tip 1: Give your kid a daily smoothie.
Smoothies make eating five servings of fruits and vegetables easier. Smoothies are a great way to make sure that kids get the right amount of daily fruits and veggies, but they are also fun to make and delicious! Smoothies are also great because they can be served as breakfast, a snack, or even desert!
Tip 2: Pack healthy snacks.
When you’re running errands all day it can seem easier to just pick up something quick at the store or the ever-conveniently located fast food joint. Don’t! Pack healthy snacks ahead of time to ensure that you have good foods on hand when the kids (and you, too!) start to get hungry.
Tip 3: Avoid making foods high in fat.
This one is simple: high-fat foods lead to obesity and increase your child’s chances of developing diabetes. Try these healthier recipe versions of lasagna and macaroni & cheese!
Tip 4: Choose healthy drinks.
Choose to give your kids water and 100 percent fruit juice instead of soda and other sugar-filled drinks.
Celebrate National Heart Month by Exercising More
Tip 1: Enroll kids in sports.
Kids love organized sports, but it’s important to find one that they enjoy playing. Common options for team sports include: football, basketball, soccer, cheerleader, gymnastics, tennis, softball, and volleyball. Sports are a great way for kids to get exercise without realizing they are exercising, and sports also provide great life and social lessons, too!
Tip 2: Get outside!
Get the kids outside and just play! Gather neighborhood kids together to play soccer, tag, capture-the-flag, “cops & robbers,” etc. The point is just to get the kids moving.
Tip 3: Buy a Wii Fit.
Kids feel like they are getting away with something when mom and dad let them play video games for an hour a day. And, it’s a great workout!
Tip 4: Let loose.
Go to the park and play on the jungle gym or swings. If you’re able to, play with your kids on the jungle gym – you’d be surprised at how quickly it all comes back!
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
Question of the Day: How do you get active with your kids?