Eating healthily as a family
As a parent, you’re encouraging your child to eat healthily when they’re sitting at the dinner table, as well as teaching them how to make good choices when they’re on their own. If you are a parent of a child living with diabetes, it can become even more important to help your children to make positive choices. Here are some ideas to help encourage children to make healthy choices.
Create a team atmosphere
Our children are always watching us, and to a certain extent, their eating habits are usually modeled after ours. Making it a priority to eat together as a family and eating what you want your child to eat can help set an example and encourage healthy eating habits.
Trying new food as a family - whether it’s a whole new meal or a newly-introduced fruit or vegetable - can make the experience more exciting and less daunting if everyone is trying it together.
Stock up on healthy snacks
Try to keep a good supply of healthy snacks ready to go: fruit, nuts, freshly cut vegetable sticks or cucumber slices, low-fat cheese, popcorn and pretzels. These ready-to-eat snacks will help give your family healthy options and make it more convenient for them to choose a healthy snack; giving children the opportunity to contribute to their own food choices can help them feel more empowered.
Stick to a schedule where possible
Having a routine for meals can help children know what to expect and may help reduce the arguments. If life is too busy for a set meal routine every day, try prioritising one meal, such as breakfast. After a night of fasting, your child’s sugar levels can be pretty low in the morning and a good breakfast will help your child think, feel and work better.
Get your children involved
Include your children in the food shop and choosing healthy food to eat. This helps them feel like they are eating what they have chosen, and take ownership of what they eat. Help them to understand food labels so they can appreciate the nutritional value of the foods they choose to eat. The NHS have published this guide to food labels which might help.
Try to make it clear you don’t expect perfection from your child - everybody can have a treat every now and then. Excluding sugary or high fat snacks such as sweets, cake and doughnuts completely could lead to your children over-indulging when they do have them. Make these foods a treat rather than a regular part of their diet.
The bottom line is this - parenting can be incredibly challenging, but pulling together as a family can help create a healthy foundation that your children will follow into adulthood. For more tips for parents of children with diabetes, check out this blog post on Diabetes Daily.
The views expressed in the Accu-Chek blog are not necessarily those of Roche Diabetes Care Limited. The content is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely – you must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content. Although we make reasonable efforts to ensure that the content is up to date, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content is accurate, complete or up-to-date.