When it comes to festivals, it’s a wonderful time for kids to snack on local delicacies and sweets. If you have a child with type 2 diabetes, it is very difficult for parents to restrict their child’s food intake. Parents are advised to take extra care not to make your child feel left out of the celebrations, but also not to make your child overwhelmed, melancholic and worried. With careful planning, your child can help shape and enjoy the holidays with friends and family.
Cakes, bread, pasta, polished rice like basmati, and fried foods can raise blood sugar levels. Therefore, checking blood sugar levels can be a good idea. “In general, type 2 diabetes in children does not require insulin and can be managed with oral medications. Eating or nibbling throughout the day is not a good idea as it raises blood sugar levels. Offer foods with a low glycemic index and high fiber content. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and have a low glycemic index. They increase satiety and don’t make the child hungry quickly,” recommends Dr. Paula Goel, consultant pediatrician, adolescent health practitioner and founder of the Fayth Clinic, which shares numerous ways to keep children’s blood sugar levels stable over the holidays.
Portion sizes must be kept small and meals must be nutritious. Avoid sugar, candy and ice cream, all of which have a high glycemic index.
Meal times play a very important role. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be overlooked. Many children get up late over the holidays, closer to lunchtime. Parents excuse this behavior by saying that the child catches up on sleep. However, breakfast is lost as a result of this process. Lunch should not be offered between 3 and 4 p.m. and dinner should not be served too late. Lunch amounts should be reasonable and dinner amounts should be light.
A good night’s sleep is essential. Therefore, sleeping times should also be observed. During the holidays, most children sleep late and spend many hours on video games and social media. The blue light of the gadgets suppresses the release of melatonin (sleep hormone), which disturbs sleep. Disrupted sleep leads to late getting up and affects the body’s sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm), leading to hormonal imbalances that cause blood sugar fluctuations. The satiety hormone leptin is suppressed and production of the hunger hormone (ghrelin) increases, leading to increased hunger and cravings. Children should not be allowed to play with gadgets for more than 2 hours a day and the timing of the gadgets must be monitored. Staying up late also leads to midnight snacking as the parents are not awake to monitor food intake.
Sweetened beverages such as soda, packaged fruit juices should be avoided and not stored indoors
Encourage your family to get active. After a big meal, take your child for a walk or play an interactive game that requires physical activity with friends and family. Not only does exercise help keep blood sugar levels steady, but it’s also a great way to bond with family members and keep them away from snacking around the kitchen table.
Holidays are a good time to socialize in the kitchen and on the field. You can teach your child to read food labels and help you with shopping.
You can go hiking with your children. Hobbies such as dancing or other forms of physical activity such as sports, cycling, swimming can be encouraged. Not only will this keep your child healthy and control type 2 diabetes, but it will also keep you healthy.