Diabetic Kids

Diabetic Kids

Diabetes is a disease that can affect the whole family’s life. It is especially unpleasant when a kid has it, and parents need to think about the food to give to him or her. Nutritious food has a high impact crucial in the development of a diabetic kid. Diabetes still is mysterious, and a lot of new research has also been made related to diabetic kids.

According to the Oxford dictionary, diabetes is a disease that influences the body’s ability to “respond to the hormone insulin is impaired.” That leads to “abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood.”[1] There are two types of diabetes. In type 1 there is a lack of cells that would produce insulin, but with type 2 diabetes body fails to respond to insulin and pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin. The type 2 diabetes is more common and can also develop later in life. Insulin’s main purpose is to help to get glucose into cells from which later the body gets energy.

Type one diabetes is less common, but it develops much faster. Usually, the first symptoms have increased the need to go to toilet and thirst. Thirst comes from the fact that in blood is higher sugar level and fluid is taken out from it. Kids also tend to have almost uncontrollable eating. The reason for that is the fact that organs and tissues are now “energy-depleted.”[2] Despite the fact that there is an increased eating involved, a kid is more likely to lose some weight. It is mainly due to loss of energy supplies that also makes tissues shrink. The easily noticeable fact is also the fact that a kid often feels tired. Furthermore, vision might become blurred because of focusing problems. It is because the fluid can be taken out also from the lenses.

In the case of type two diabetes, the symptoms are the same as already mentioned before but there are also some additional ones. One of the symptoms is sores that heal slowly and frequent infections due to hardness to resist them. Visually noticeable can also be areas of darkened skin. A more medical term for that is acanthosis nigricans.[3] It comes from insulin resistance problem. High importance is the race the kid has as well as his weight. An overweight kid is more likely to develop this kind of diabetes. The main causes for that are not enough activity as well as unhealthy food or not the right use of it. That’s why it is important to take a look at the food and whether it is nutritious enough.

Kids with diabetes require daily sugar level monitoring as well as delivery of enough food that is healthy. Other failures without treating diabetes the way it should are blindness, kidney failure and heart disease indicating its seriousness. Dietitian can be a good help creating a special meal plan. There are also few steps that can follow. One of it is to avoid drinks have soda, sports drinks, and juices. Water is the healthiest drink to use (6-8 glasses per day). Good is also skim or 1% milk (up to 3 cups). There are also special diet drinks like diet soda and even diet root beer. A lot of importance also has the organizing so that there would be a good balance between how much a kid eats at the main meals and snacks.

The best way is to put food on the plate before sitting on the table thus avoiding taking a larger portion. If a kid is hungry between the meals, better is to find some healthy snacks, which is not such an easy job. The kid should also avoid eating late at night. Diabetes specialists will have already made a plan how many calories a kid should take. Calories are in 3 types of food: carbohydrates (carbs), fat and protein. Carbs include a lot of different food like bread, pasta, starchy vegetables, rice, ice-cream, etc.

There are healthier choices than that that can be made like choosing whole grain breads and cereals (oats), fresh or canned fruits used for juice, low-fat milk and light yogurt, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, bulgur, noodles, baked potatoes with skin, beans, vegetables (any kind), and even snacks like baked chips, low-fat popcorn, pretzels, goldfish crackers, sugar-free popsicles, etc. you can find out if the carb is healthy rather easy. They are digested

There are healthier choices than that that can be made like choosing whole grain breads and cereals (oats), fresh or canned fruits used for juice, low-fat milk and light yogurt, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, bulgur, noodles, baked potatoes with skin, beans, vegetables (any kind), and even snacks like baked chips, low-fat popcorn, pretzels, goldfish crackers, sugar-free popsicles, etc. you can find out if the carb is healthy rather easy. They are digested by the body slowly and doesn’t cause a high rise in the blood sugar. American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests to use “oatmeal or bran cereals with 4 or more grams of fiber per serving”, serving beans 2-3 times per week, 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every week.

The best way is to put food on the plate before sitting on the table thus avoiding taking a larger portion. If a kid is hungry between the meals, better is to find some healthy snacks, which is not such an easy job. The kid should also avoid eating late at night. Diabetes specialists will have already made a plan how many calories a kid should take and this should be followed. Calories are in 3 types of food: carbohydrates (carbs), fat and protein. Carbs include a lot of different food like bread, pasta, starchy vegetables, rice, ice-cream, etc.

There are healthier choices than that that can be made like choosing whole grain breads and cereals (oats), fresh or canned fruits used for juice, low-fat milk and light yogurt, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, bulgur, noodles, baked potatoes with skin, beans, vegetables (any kind), and even snacks like baked chips, low-fat popcorn, pretzels, goldfish crackers, sugar-free popsicles, etc. you can find out if the carb is healthy rather easy. They are digested from the body slowly and doesn’t cause a high rise of the blood sugar. American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests to use “oatmeal or bran cereals with 4 or more grams of fiber per serving”, serving beans 2-3 times per week, 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every week.[4]

Fat is also important as one of their functions is to help to carry vitamins to the cells but at the same time, it is worth remembering that they can also lead to extra fat. ADA suggests using lower fat foods which can be even special butter, oils, margarine and other products. ADA has suggested also their healthy plate that can also be used for kids. Half of the plate should be non-starchy vegetables, ¼ for protein and other ¼ for grains and starchy vegetables.

Another important fact is that a plate shouldn’t be deeper than 1 inch. Importance is also how fast a kid eats the meal. It is important to eat slowly, it takes around 20 minutes until the brain gets a signal from the stomach that it is full. In case a kid still doesn’t feel full, you can give him additional non-starchy vegetables and some more water. If there is more than 4 h between the meals, you can also give a kid some healthy snack. Some of ADA suggested ideas are 3 cups of popcorn (no butter), 8 oz nonfat yogurt, 1 fresh fruit, 2 slices of whole grain bread with a tablespoon of jelly, 15 grapes, half a can of low-fat soup.

There are a lot of ways how to eat healthier and more nutritious. Life of diabetes children can get easier and manageable with the right eating and medical supplement to keep living with this incurable disease. American Diabetes Association same as other related associations have different tips for that same as special doctors can help parents as well as kids themselves.

 

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Reference:

[1] Oxford Dictionary. Accessed from: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/diabetes

[2] Type 1 diabetes in children. Accessed from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-1-diabetes-in-children/basics/symptoms/con-20029197

[3] Type 2 diabetes in children. Accessed from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes-in-children/basics/symptoms/con-20030124

[4] American Diabetes Association. Accessed from: http://main.diabetes.org/dorg/PDFs/Type-2-Diabetes-in-Youth/Type-2-Diabetes-in-Youth_14-18.pdf

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