As a parent of a diabetic child, you constantly worry about your child’s well-being and blood sugar control to prevent the complications of diabetes, a disease identified by high blood sugar levels.
Poor sugar control increases the likelihood of developing complications such as heart, kidney and eye site problems. Your family and child must follow closely the plan that your doctor, with your assistance developed to maintain your child’s blood sugar levels close to normal. This plan should also be used in the school setting for peak learning.
To achieve and maintain blood sugar control, your child with the help of the school staff must:
Check blood sugars according to your doctor’s orders to prevent low or high blood sugar levels
Monitor the amount of food to eat
Take medications as needed
Participate in physical activity to achieve or maintain an adequate weight. Obesity contributes to developing diabetes.
Make sure that you and your health care team work together to provide the school system and day care providers with the information necessary to allow your child to participate fully and safely at school. A diabetes medical management plan should include this information. The school staff that will interact with your child including administrators, nurses, coaches, aids, bus drivers, and secretaries should receive diabetes information and training.
Learn about your rights guaranteed by Federal Law, diabetes medical management plans, & school’s staff responsibilities through my video, Jing video – http://screencast.com/t/h11lTG2omg9.
I am very excited to share with you a blog that truly complements mine as it focuses on children’s health, Childhood Obesity, Lets make a change, written by Casey Federico. Through his writing, this passionate physical education teacher, who studies nutrition, truly shows his concern about the negative health consequences of the excessive weight gain he sees on many of the children he works with. With his blog, Casey Federico wants to make a difference. I truly hope that the parents of those children he serves, and you, my dear followers, take the time to read his blog and learn from it. His blog includes various topics:
Body Mass Index (BMI) – a tool used by professionals together with other tools to evaluate the weight of adults and children to assess the risk of developing long-term medical problems.
MyFitness Pal app – A calorie counter and fitness tracker app that will help you become more aware of your food selections and their nutritional and energy (calorie) values, and help you get in great shape.
General dietary recommendations for healthy children, a great start to learning about kids nutrition.
Facts and statistics about childhoodobesity that may compel you to evaluate your lifestyle and make positive changes to help our kids.
I find Casey’s blog very attractive and easy to navigate with beautiful colored pictures and graphics. You will find many links to sites with valuable sources of nutrition, exercise, and health information.
This week I evaluated some nutrition mobile apps for my computer class and I came across Catch the Carrot, available free of charge at iTunes and google play store. You must take a look at this app.
The game’s target audience is children between the ages of 6 and 8, but it’s so entertaining and engaging that teens and adults will enjoy it too. I spent quite a bit of time playing, and my 9 and 12 years old kids did too!
The purpose of the app is to teach basic food and nutrition concepts. You can use it on an iPhone, iPod, and iPad.
This new University of Illinois Extension app has multiple-choice trivia questions, read aloud for children to follow. Each correct answer releases a falling food that you must quickly attempt to catch with your shopping cart. The more food you put in your cart the more points you get. But moving too fast or stacking food too high will make your items tumble out. You double tap on your cart to empty it out and get points.
The game has 19 levels and hundreds of questions. You must master a level before you can move on to the next.
I recommend this game because it covers many nutrition topics such as food groups, food sources of nutrients, nutrients functions in the body, it doesn’t advertise or promote any products, it is fun, and nutrition educators developed it.
Are you frustrated trying to get your kids to eat different foods? Do you wonder how to get your kids to try new foods?
A great way to get your kids to eat new foods is by cooking together. You can delegate responsibilities based on the age of your children. The younger children will need more supervision and will be given the easier, less dangerous tasks such as washing and drying produce, mixing and blending ingredients.
Tips that make cooking with your child enjoyable
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare the meals. Weekends or vacation days are ideal.
Pick the menu and new recipes to try with your kid. He or she will be more interested. Check in advance books and websites for nutritious recipes. Once you have found some favorite ones, share those and have him or she select the recipes you’ll prepare.
Pick simple recipes, easy to make with a short list of ingredients.
When preparing a new food, serve it with other foods your child already likes.
Keep safety in mind at all times. Supervise closely when using sharp utensils and heat.
Clean up together as you go along.
Show your child you are having fun. Make positive statements and share fun experiences you’ve had.
Developing healthy eating habits is the first step to a healthy lifestyle and prevention of obesity. This is why it is extremely important for you as the parent to set a good example.
Tips for Setting a Good Example
1. Try often to eat together as a family. Make sure to serve vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein, and milk or substitute at meals.
A Feeding Guide
2. Try new foods whenever possible. I love preparing foods from different countries. I collect cooking books from places we’ve visited. I challenge my kids to try the typical foods of the country wherever we go. Their reward is that they get to choose their favorite souvenir.
3. Enroll your child on a cooking class or camp. My daughter, who is a very picky eater, loves to drink “the green monster smoothie” made with kale and spinach. She learned to prepare it and tried it for the first time with a group of friends at camp.
4. Avoid making negative comments about foods. It is especially important that you talk ahead of time to your older kids about this, before trying new foods.
5. Make exercise a fun activity. Pick your favorite physical activity and do it together.
Listen to my podcast (see above menu) and read the following references for more information about this topic.
Are you a parent concern that your child is overweight or obese? Do you have any questions about what your child’s school is doing to promote healthy eating and lifestyle?
As a parent you can do a lot to help your child at home, a topic I will discuss on my next blog. However, it seems a mystery to most of us what happens at school.
Our children consume one or two meals and several snacks in the six plus hours they spend at school daily. Encouraging healthy eating and exercise activity during that time is important. Exercise helps with attention, weight control, regulates hunger, and overall feeling of well-being.
You can team up with your school to help your child be healthier. Find out what your school is doing. Make sure you communicate your concerns to the school principal, food service director, nurse, and health or gym teacher and ask them how they can help your child have a healthier lifestyle.
My infographic on Fighting Obesity at Schools will show you how schools can or are addressing obesity and are promoting healthy eating and lifestyle. Feel free to print it and take it with you to discuss with the school staff to find out what they are doing.