Type 2 diabetes is a disease more commonly associated with adults. But today, children and teens weigh more and are less active. As a result, people of all ages now get type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is partly genetic. Even so, there is plenty you can do to prevent or delay diabetes in most cases. The key is a healthy lifestyle. Encourage your child to eat healthy foods, get plenty of physical activity and maintain a healthy weight. Tips to improve your child’s diet: o Don’t buy junk food, such as soft drinks, chips, cookies, doughnuts, and candy. o Have healthful foods on hand for snacks and lunch bags. More healthy choices might include nonfat milk, nuts, fresh fruit, ba By carrots, cherry tomatoes, low-fat cheese, and whole-grain low-sugar breakfast cereals. o Buy whole-grains (such as oatmeal, barley, whole wheat bread and pasta, and brown rice) instead of refined grains (such as white bread, white pasta, and white rice). o Have your child eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables each day. o Serve small portions. o Serve fruit for dessert instead of cake, pie, or other foods high in fat and sugar. o Instead of frying foods, cook them in low-fat ways. These include baking, broiling, roasting, grilling, steaming and boiling. Exercise is very beneficial and should be encouraged. With exercise, kids can gain better coordination, balance, strength, and endurance. Exercise can increase energy levels, too. All exercise is great – from walking the dog or riding a bike to playing team sports. To maximize the benefits, set a goal for your child to exercise 60 minutes a day for 5 to 6 days a week. Lead By example. Children need to see that their parents are also doing what they are teaching. Health is the best possible gift we can bestow on our children.
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