Thursday, December 20, 2012

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Guest Blogger: Carolyn

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Diet & Exercise Leads To Diabetes Prevention In Kids

November as American Diabetes Month… normally this wouldn’t have affected me personally, but this year was much different. This year, one of my little cousins was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes , which changed everything.

After doing some research on the disease, I found that there are more and more cases of Type 2 Diabetes being reported amongst younger people – including children as young as the age of 10! Information from Syracuse’s  St. Joseph’s Cardiac Center
states that to date, 1 in 3 kids are diagnosed with diabetes, and that number is rapidly growing. After learning this and other information, I knew I had to do something to help all of my cousins get back on track towards building healthier lives, and since a poor diet and lack of physical activity are the two main factors of the disease, that is where I started.

A nutritious diet
Baked and grilled foods are better than fried and breaded foods. Almost all of the fast food chains offer baked and grilled options, which can easily be substituted (that is, if you must eat from there!). When cooking at home, switch up the items being eaten: lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and lean cuts of red meats can be used in a variety of dishes.

As for adding in vegetables, there are many recipes that can integrate them without children even knowing. More leafy greens being added into the diet can help to fill up the stomach, leaving less room for junk food. Also, grilled vegetables tend to be a big hit with kids – adding spices also can make it even more delicious, and allows you to change up the flavoring.

Fruits are another essential to each meal – you can cut them into fun shapes so the kids are more likely to eat them. Also, for a snack, we liked to pick different fruits and veggies and throw them in the blender for yummy breakfast or snack smoothies
. Additionally, the kids loooove getting non/low-fat frozen yogurt and picking out their own fruit and nut toppings!
 
Get movin’!
For exercise, there are lots of ways to
get kids up and moving around.. It all comes down to making exercise not seem like exercise, but more like a fun activity that the kids want to participate in.

Dancing is a great way to do this. This can include enrolling kids into a dance class or just cranking up the music at night. When the whole family dances, it can promote a desire to want to be more active.
**tip: we were able to use the kids’ video game and get some exercise in by playing the Just Dance! video game

Swimming is another great activity – it allows kids to simply swim around for fun, or play fun games in the water. We like to pretend we’re in the Olympics and have races for different styles of swimming, and play Marco Polo too! The great thing is that there are pools at nearby community centers or colleges for both the summer and winter seasons.

Be creative! Find out what your kids like to do when they play with each other or their friends, and then turn it into a family activity. When doing chores, have a dance party while sweeping or mopping, do “timed-trials” of who can make their bed the fastest, etc. It’s all about taking the normal activities that kids love and using them as a way to get kids moving without them realizing it!

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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