While many people can imagine how difficult it must be to be afflicted with diabetes, most don’t consider that it’s a disease that doesn’t only affect the diagnosed individual, but their loved ones as well.
Diabetes is largely hereditary—meaning that it’s passed on from parent to child—but that only means children with diabetic relatives just have a larger predisposition of being diagnosed with the disease. Factors in your environment still need to be monitored and checked, and proper preparation can make a world of difference.
As parents, working together as a team and helping everyone in the family stay healthy and strong is critical.
It may be difficult for children to understand why they should be prepared for and protected against diabetes, but it could make a world of difference.
Encourage them to eat nutritious foods. One of the most crucial things to teach your kids is how to eat healthy. This means not just guiding them on how to eat right, but also making them understand why they need to do so.
Low-fat, nutritious food like fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread, dairy products, and lean protein should be part of their daily meals. Explain to them the benefits of these food items and how it can help them become strong and healthy.
Make them recognize the symptoms. Teach children to keep a sharp eye out for early symptoms of diabetes, like extreme hunger, fatigue, irritability, blurred vision, fruity-smelling breath, increased thirst, and frequent urination. If they know what to look out for, they can report it back to you. In turn, you have another ally on your side helping you look out for red flags. This can also prove especially helpful when you have older children who can help you monitor your younger ones.
Teach them to be supportive. For those who might be afflicted with the disease, the family is the best cheerleader. Eating healthy together, going outside to play and exercise—these are all fun ways to stay healthy and bond as well.
Remember, it’s all about keeping a positive attitude and making sure everyone in the family is well educated on diabetes. It can definitely be a challenge, but it’s a challenge easier conquered when you do it as a whole family.
Let us know if any of our tips helped you, or if you have any of your own experiences and stories that you want to share with us. Just like us on Facebook and send us a message! Let’s all keep doing our part to battle diabetes.