Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, but type 2 diabetes often can be. Maintaining a healthy weight is an important aspect of diabetes treatment for both type 1 and type 2. Losing weight and maintaining the weight loss can also help prevent type 2 diabetes in the first place. This is usually achieved with lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes include eating a healthy diet and getting regular physical activity. Kids and teens have an easier time making lifestyle changes when the whole family participates, and making healthy living a family effort can be beneficial for everyone.
Reaching and staying at a healthy weight when young can help a child control his or her weight when older. A child who is at risk for diabetes may be referred to a registered dietitian (RD). The RD will work with the child to develop a personalized eating plan to help meet the child’s goals.
Keep in mind these general tips for a healthy diet:
Being active has many benefits in kids.
Children and teens should be active at least 60 minutes per day. This can be easier to achieve if TV and computer times are limited. If a child has not been very active in the past, they should start slowly.
Most importantly, exercise should include activities the child enjoys. For example:
Physical activity can also be an opportunity to bond with family. For example, playing a game of basketball together or going for a family bike ride.