Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Preventing Diabetes in Children

Diabetes runs in my family. I am pre-diabetic myself, meaning I have insulin resistance. So far my numbers do not show that I actually have diabetes fasting blood sugars are okay, and my HGB A1c is in the non-diabetic range. Thank goodness. But knowing I could easily end up with diabetes is one big reason that I wanted to get healthy. I want to prevent it.

Yesterday I went to a conference about diabetes in children. The research is chilling. So many young children are being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes....the one that can be prevented. It is scary.

I have changed the way that I eat. I don't eat the refined carbs much anymore. But my son still does. I still buy the snack packs for him. He still likes chips and cookies, and chocolate. Although I do encourage him to eat fruit and veggies, that isn't his primary snack choice for the most part. He is not at all overweight, and he is very active, but maybe I need to just stop buying any of those kinds of snacks for him at all. He loves apples and blueberries, and will eat those very readily. If I had no other snacks available, maybe he would make those his first choice.

I don't know. There is a part of me that wants him to be able to be like the other kids....have some Doritos, have a cookie at lunch. He always has something healthy a lite cheese stick, or a yogurt, or some fruit. But is that enough? Am I setting him up for Diabetes later in life? How strict should I be? Is it necessary to restrict his snacks just because I have a problem with those foods? How do you all deal with this with your children??


  1. I think for sure that healthy eating is laid down in the early years. I know some people who are totally against their kids eating "junk" and others who go the opposite. We take a balanced approach at our house. My kids eat some of both.

    For their lunch they get their main thing (sandwich on WW, pita pizza, quesadillia), a juice (real), a fruit or veggie and a treat (usually something like fishie crackers or bits & bites or something). My littlest girl won't eat sandwiches or pizza's or anything of the sort, so she gets a smorgasboard or fruits & veggies and crackers. I want her to eat something!

    We also have a fruit or veggie first rule - if you want that treat you have to first eat a banana, carrot or whatever.

  2. I limit the amount of "junk food" snacks that my daughter (7 yo) has, but haven't cut it all out. I used to go to school with a boy who had type 1 diabetes, and wasn't allowed any junk food because of it. It was awful, seeing how upset he always was because he couldn't enjoy the same kind of snacks that other kids could have. I know how important it was for him to eat such a clean diet, for the very sake of his life. His struggle, however, convinced me that I might do my own daughter more harm than good by not allowing her small "junk" treats. I would hate to have her develop a bad relationship with food because she felt deprived throughout her childhood.

    I know that this might not help you make the right decision for your own situation. I'm just talking. *grins* More than anything, I think these sort of things are very much determined by the child's own mindset towards food. Only you will know what your son can and/or will handle while remaining content and happy with his situation. :o )

  3. I agree with both of you! I make my son eat something healthy first if he wants cookies or candy. After he eats the banana or apple, then if he is still hungry he can have a cookie.

    He is also picky and won't eat sandwiches or normal lunch food, so it is limited in what I can send for him! Sometimes I send what I think is healthy, and he won't eat it....just brings it back home.

    Like you Squishy, I don't want my son to feel "deprived" in school, or among his peers. It is difficult to know how far to go in the desire to protect him from diseases that may never even impact him. He is adopted, so he doesn't even have my family's genes. But I do not really know his own family's medical background that much, either, so it could still be an issue.

  4. My soon to be nine year old is a type one diabetic and has been since he was three. What fun?! We allow him to eat pretty much what he wants within reason. That being said, I try not to have junk in the house. He will snack on cheese sticks, or yogurt or granola bars. We are trying really hard not to have sweets in the house for dieting purposes but will allow a treat from time to time if we are out. Plus things like birthdays he's allowed to enjoy. We just have to make sure he gets the insulin to cover it.

    Now my other son who does not have diabetes is the pickiest child ever. The only fruit he likes are apples. He doesn't like any vegetables. We have to hide it in foods for him to eat them. He would eat junk all day if we let him.

    I allow each of my kids to pick out one box of 100 cal snacks a week and they put their names on their boxes and have to make them last all week.

    Good luck!

  5. In my case, my son is on the weight loss journey as well ( has lost 7o odd pounds so far and is 16). His weight is the result of texture issues with autism, which adds an entirely different set of complex loops and turns to this. At first I made a compromise , allowing normal kid type food into his diet but in controlled portions, but the more we went on I got to thinking about all of the chemicals there are in "kid food", and I asked myself if I was not just trading one problem for another. So nearly all of it has been banished, with the exception of sugar free jello. No mac and cheese, no cookies, no 100 calorie snacks, no kid cereal, no juice boxes . If it is not real food, it does not come into te house. At first it was a freak out, but I explained to him why we were doing this, and exactly what the bad guys were. Very soon he was on board and has become an amazing label reader who catches up my slip ups. He says he preffers the way he feels and when a comercial comes on for some wonder kid food, he watches and usually says "what junk !". Odds are very great that your son is schoolmates with at least one other chilod who's parents have mad a healthy foods choice, so I would not worry about making him some sort of oddball if you feel strongly that this would be a good move for his health.

  6. If it isn't good enough for you to eat, then why would you feed it to your child? Once I got healthy cooking under my belt, my whole family switched over. And that included snacks. Daughter balked - of course...but eventually she didn't and now she doesn't even notice. Well....she doesn't complain anymore!! HAHA