Frequently parents of Type one children find themselves obsessing about every piece of food consumed by their children. While this is a natural response to the invisible disability, nurturing healthy habits in diabetic children and teaching them to trust their internal regulators is an essential part to controlling their disease. Rather than micro managing each type of meal, which can be extremely stressful to both parent and child, there are a few ways to raise responsible eaters who learn to manage their type one on their own (or with the help of their Diabetic Alert Dog).
- Developing A Taste For The Good Stuff- This means nurturing a like for healthy foods that help balance their glycemic index. The most important part of taking care of Type one and Type two is learning to love fresh, clean ingredients. As parents, you have the power to choose the meal options laid out before your child. Making meals that are full of healthy food part of their daily routine is easier than you might think. A recent study has shown that when given the choice between veggies and fruits or processed foods most children have a natural ability to choose what’s best for them without overindulging in sweets. Yes your type one child will still want frozen yogurt with his friends, but that’s because he’s a child. Rather than stressing what food they cannot have, focus on preparing dishes that nourish their bodies and help them develop a desire for the good before the processed.
- Provide A Schedule For Blood Sugar Maintenance– In addition to developing a preference for healthy food, following an eating schedule is extremely beneficial for blood sugar maintenance and weight management. From professional athletes to nutritionists, everyone seems to agree that having a schedule not only trains your body to know when to expect food but also helps people from over eating or mindless eating. For type one children, following an eating schedule can mean fewer highs and lows which translates to less injections, emergency room visits, and more.
- Removing The Stress From Eating- As parents of Diabetic children, many of you have experienced the emergency low/high requiring a snack immediately. While this may seem like a minor issue from the outside, the adrenaline provoking situation can be traumatizing for everyone involved. Emergency snacks tend to add a lot of pressure onto your type one child creating a negative association around eating times. Ensure that your non-emergency meals are devoid of stressful conversations and environments. Also, a Diabetic Alert Dog can frequently alert 20-40 minutes before a dramatic change in blood sugar happens giving you time to respond to an alert rather than react to an emergency low.