When it comes to festivals, it's a wonderful time for children to munch on local delicacies and sweets. When you have a child with type 2 diabetes, it is very challenging for parents to limit their child's food intake. Parents are advised to pay special attention to ensure that your child does not feel excluded from the festivities while also not overburdening your child and making him/her melancholy and worried. Your child can participate in and enjoy the holidays with friends and family with careful planning.
Cakes, breads, pasta, polished rice like basmati, fried foods can cause blood sugar levels to spike. Hence checking on the blood sugar level may be a good idea. "In general, type 2 diabetes in children does not require insulin and can be treated with oral medicines. Eating or nibbling throughout the day is not a good idea because it raises blood sugar levels. Provide foods with a low glycemic index and a high fibre content. Fruits and vegetables are high in fibre and low in the glycemic index. They increase satiety and do not make the child hungry quickly," recommends Dr. Paula Goel, Consultant Pediatrician, Adolescent Physician, and Founder of Fayth Clinic, who shares numerous ways to keep children's blood sugar levels stable over the holiday season.
Portion sizes must be kept small, and meals must be nutrition dense. Avoid sugar, candy, and ice cream all have a high glycemic index.
Meal timings 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 behaviour by claiming that the child is catching up on sleep. However, breakfast is lost as a result of this procedure. Lunch should not be provided between 3 and 4 p.m., and dinner should not be served late. Lunch quantities should be reasonable, and supper amounts should be light.
A good night sleep is essential. Hence sleep timings should also be maintained. During holidays most of the kids sleep late and spend long hours on video games and social media. The blue light from the gadgets suppress the secretion of melatonin (sleep hormone) which disturbs sleep. Disturbed sleep leads to getting up late and it affects the sleep wake cycle (circadian rhythm) of the body, which causes hormonal imbalances leading to blood sugar fluctuations. The satiety hormone leptin gets depressed and production of hunger hormone (ghrelin) increases leading to increased hunger and cravings. Children should not be allowed to play for more than 2 hours daily on gadgets and gadget timing must be monitored. Staying up late also leads to mid night snacking as parents are not awake to monitor food intake.
Sweetened beverages like soda, packed fruit juices should be avoided and should not be stored in the house
Encourage your family to get active. After a large meal, take your child on a walk or play an interactive game requiring physical activity with friends and family. Exercise not only helps to keep blood sugar levels stable, but it’s a great way to bond with family members, keeping them away from snacks at the kitchen table.
Holidays are a good time to bond in the kitchen and in the field. You can teach your child to read food labels and help you in shopping.
You can go trekking with your children. Hobbies such as dancing or other forms of physical activity like enrolling in sports, cycling, swimming can be encouraged. This will not only keep your child healthy and control Type 2 diabetes, but it will also keep you healthy.